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It's a great time of year for plant sales

Events range from Natomas to Rancho Cordova to Orangevale to Placerville

Shopping for tomato plants? Several fundraising sales in the region this weekend will have tomatoes and other edibles.

Shopping for tomato plants? Several fundraising sales in the region this weekend will have tomatoes and other edibles. Kathy Morrison

Who needs plants – especially veggies? It’s that time of year. Several fundraising plant sales will be buzzing with edible offerings this weekend. Anyone looking for their top tomatoes or preferred peppers should check out at least one of these sales:

Sacramento Perennial Plant Club, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 14-15, as part of the Spring Plant Sale and Celebration, an event co-presented by the Natomas Garden & Arts Collective. It takes place at the historic Azevedo-Moll Tank House, 1911 Bannon Creek Drive, Sacramento. Perennials, veggies, succulents and native plants for sale. Informational displays and spring activities also will be part of the event, and free tours of the Tank House will be available.

– Three members of the Future Farmers of America at Casa Roble High School will sell seedlings of tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and more at the Food Bank Farm,  6401 Main, Orangevale, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. 

-- The Sacramento Valley chapter of the California Native Plant Society hosts an in-person sale Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Soil Born Farms, 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova. Guest vendors include Find Out Farms and Leaf & Lark Farm. This sale features California native plants.

– Tomatoes and other veggies, fruit and herbs can be purchased during the first of two spring sales by the master gardeners of El Dorado County, 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Sherwood Demonstration Garden, 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville. (Their sale of natives, perennials, trees, etc., will be April 29). Cash or check preferred, Visa and Mastercard also accepted. Plant list is a link on  this page: https://mgeldorado.ucanr.edu/

– The Sacramento Iris Society will sell potted irises as part of its annual show this weekend, 1-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 16. Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento.

And if you can’t make any of these, there are more sales coming! Of particular interest is the return of the American River College Horticulture Department’s plant sale, which will be Saturday, April 22, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on campus. Annuals, vegetables, succulents, perennials, berries and houseplants will be sold. Pre-COVID 3-gallon mature plants will be priced at $10. Proceeds benefit the horticulture program. The Elk Grove Community Garden plant sale also is on April 22, from  9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 10025 Hampton Oak Drive, Elk Grove.

There also will be plant vendors during the big Garden Faire presented by the Placer County master gardeners, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 22 at the Maidu Community Center, 1550 Maidu Drive, Roseville. (More on that next week!)

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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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