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Grow local, shop local at Gardener's Market

Sacramento Perennial Plant Club hosts vendors and 'The Plant Lady'

Marlene Simon will be the speaker at noon Saturday during the Gardener's Market at the Shepard Garden & Art Center.

Marlene Simon will be the speaker at noon Saturday during the Gardener's Market at the Shepard Garden & Art Center. Photo courtesy The Plant Lady

Find unusual plants from specialty nurseries, whimsical garden art and spring motivation at the 18th annual Gardener’s Market, presented by the Sacramento Perennial Plant Club.

Packing the Shepard Garden & Art Center with vendors and inspirational displays, the market will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 18. Admission and parking are free.

“This annual one-day gardening event showcases some of our favorite specialty nurseries and garden artisans from the greater Sacramento region,” says the perennial club. “The educational component of the event features our popular ‘What’s Blooming’ display and presentations from local horticultural experts.”

The noontime keynote speaker for the event will be Marlene Simon, “The Plant Lady.” As staff horticulturist at the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory, she grows more than 3,000 of the world’s most exotic species. She’s well known to viewers of “Good Day Sacramento” who love her down-to-earth, witty approach to Sacramento-area gardening.

About 20 vendors are expected including such popular sellers as Morningsun Herb Farm, Mad Man Bamboo, Geraniaceae, BirdFeedersRUs, All Things Wild, and Succulent Sirens. For a complete list, see

Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento.

Details and directions:


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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