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Learn water-wise tips for hot July

Make the most of your irrigation; Green Acres offers free workshops

What month is this? These Easter lilies bloomed in July in Sacramento.  Like all lilies, they appreciate consistent irrigation.

What month is this? These Easter lilies bloomed in July in Sacramento. Like all lilies, they appreciate consistent irrigation.

Debbie Arrington

July is Sacramento’s hottest month of the year – and when we use the most outdoor irrigation.

Are you getting the most out of your sprinklers or drip system?

Now is a good time to do a quick check-up of your irrigation system – if you haven’t already. Walk around your landscape while the system is running and take note of which heads are doing what – are they blocked by foliage, gushing geysers into the air or not working at all?

With drip systems, hunt for dry spots where emitters may be blocked. Plunge a moisture meter or 6-inch screwdriver into the soil; if it’s too dry, there may be an issue.

One easy fix that will save water: Upgrade to high-efficiency rotary sprinkler heads. These rotating nozzles put out streams of heavy droplets that allow for better coverage and less evaporation than traditional spray heads. They can be installed with a screwdriver. Rebates may be available; check

Just make sure to change all the heads on an irrigation station. A mix of heads makes for uneven distribution – dry spots and wet spots – and an unhealthy landscape.

Want to learn more about irrigation? Get answers to your watering questions? Check out these free workshops Saturday at all locations of Green Acres Nursery & Supply.

At 10 a.m. July 8, every Green Acres will host “Irrigation 101: Water Efficiency,” an information-packed seminar that simplifies this essential topic. Green Acres irrigation experts will walk participants through the steps of retrofitting sprinklers and upgrading technology. They’ll also answer questions about specific circumstances. Green Acres stocks many of these irrigation components and staff will help participants pick out the right parts for their irrigation needs.

Green Acres nurseries are located in Sacramento, Auburn, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Rocklin and Roseville.

For more details and directions:


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Oct. 1:

Make the most of this cooler weather. Get to work on your fall garden:

* October is the best month to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. Plants become established – sending down deep, strong roots – faster in warm soil.

* Divide and replant perennials. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to the planting hole, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioli, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

* Clean up the summer vegetable garden and compost disease-free foliage.

* Harvest pumpkins and winter squash.

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