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Get free mulch at these May events

'Mulch Mayhem' returns to Sacramento, Placer counties

Get free mulch for your garden while it lasts!

Get free mulch for your garden while it lasts!

Photo courtesy Placer County Water Agency

One day, it’s feeling like summer. The next, it’s cold and rainy.

What’s a gardener to do?

Try to keep your plants evenly comfortable with a blanket of mulch. This natural insulation not only keeps soil moist but also helps regulate soil temperature – two ways to beat the heat or cold.

Get plenty of free mulch at events on two upcoming Saturday mornings in May.

Sponsored by the Regional Water Authority and local water providers, “Mulch Mayhem” offers free mulch while supplies last from 8 a.m. to noon May 6 and 20 at locations in Sacramento and Placer counties.

“These free events are designed to help local residents get their yards ready for summer,” say organizers. “Mulch slows evaporation, moderates soil temperature, beautifies landscapes and even controls weeds. As it breaks down, mulch also adds helpful nutrients to the soil.”

Mulch also helps save water during the dry months of summer.

“Water managers estimate that residents can save 30 gallons of water for every 1,000 square feet just by adding two to three inches of organic mulch (such as leaves and wood chips) around plants and four to six inches around trees,” say the organizers. When mulching trees or shrubs, take care to keep mulch away from their trunks to avoid crown rot

No reservations are needed. Bring a shovel, containers or tarps and a means to haul your free mulch away. This mulch is for residential use only and not for resale.

On Saturday morning, May 6, get your mulch at these locations:

* Carmichael Water District, 7837 Fair Oaks Blvd., Carmichael.

Information: (916) 483-2452 or

* Sierra College’s overflow lot, corner of Rocklin Road and El Don Drive opposite the campus, in Rocklin.

Information: (530) 823-4850 or

* Sacramento Suburban Water District, 917 Enterprise Drive, Sacramento

Information: (916) 972-7171 or

* Sacramento Marina, 2710 Ramp Way (enter from Front Street), Sacramento

Information: (916) 808-5605 or

On Saturday morning, May 20, mulch will be available at Cokeva Parking Lot, 9000 Foothills Blvd., Roseville. (Enter at 9100 Foothills Blvd.) Open truck and trailer fill only—no shovels required.

Information: (916) 774-5761 or

More details:


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

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