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UC Davis Arboretum hosts first spring plant sale (finally)

After canceling March event, Arboretum nursery offers 'split sale' to Friends and public

Expect plenty of plants -- and plenty of Friends of the Arboretum -- at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery sale Saturday.

Expect plenty of plants -- and plenty of Friends of the Arboretum -- at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery sale Saturday. Kathy Morrison

It’s finally here – but “Friends” still get first dibs.

On Saturday, April 8, the Arboretum Teaching Nursery at UC Davis hosts the first of its annual spring sales – a month after its original “Members Only” kickoff event was canceled due to too much rain and mud.

Called a “split sale,” this event has two parts: "Members only" from 9 to 11 a.m.; and the public sale from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Those first two hours are open only to Friends of the Arboretum, its longtime support group of volunteers and donors.

April is Members Appreciation Month, says the arboretum staff. At this sale, that appreciation comes in the form of two hours of exclusive plant shopping, a $10-value appreciation gift and 10% off all purchases.

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

The Arboretum Teaching Nursery is 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 water-wise perennials, shrubs, bulbs, ground covers and trees – all proved 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 featured varieties growing in the nursery’s demonstration gardens.

Upcoming public sales are scheduled for April 29 and May 13; the latter is the annual spring clearance event.

Details and directions:


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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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