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UC Davis Arboretum hosts Friends-only spring sale

First of four sales features huge selection of water-wise plants

As with the sales last fall, expect plenty of plants and plenty of plant-buyers during the first spring sale at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery.

As with the sales last fall, expect plenty of plants and plenty of plant-buyers during the first spring sale at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery.

Kathy Morrison

At the UC Davis Arboretum, “Friends” get first dibs on new plants.

On Saturday, March 11, the Arboretum Teaching Nursery hosts the first of its 2023 spring sales. But this kickoff event is open only to Friends of the Arboretum, its longtime support group of volunteers and donors.

Say the organizers, “At this members-only event, Friends members are invited to shop before we open the nursery to the public. In addition to the opportunity to shop our best selection and 10% off their purchases, friends members also receive a $10-value member appreciation gift.”

Not a Friend? No problem. New Friends can join at the gate or in advance online here.

Sale hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery, located on Garrod Drive near UCD’s small animal veterinary teaching hospital on the university campus.

Before the event, prospective shoppers can check out the plant list and photos on the arboretum’s website at

This year’s inventory features hundreds of varieties of water-wise perennials, shrubs, bulbs, ground covers and trees – all proven to love growing in the Central Valley. That includes California natives as well as plants from other Mediterranean climates.

Featured are the ever-popular Arboretum All-Stars – tough, easy-care, low-water flowering plants with added benefits. Many of these plants attract birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators while adding beauty to our suburban landscapes.

Besides browsing the arboretum’s inventory online, shoppers also can see many featured varieties growing in the nursery’s demonstration gardens.

Upcoming public sales are scheduled for April 8 (starting at 11 a.m.; Friends get first look at 9 a.m. that day) and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 29; the spring clearance sale is May 13.

Details and directions:


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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