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Seed money or more: Grants available from garden clubs

Still plenty of time for nonprofits and schools to apply

The Tahoe Park Neighborhood Association Community Garden was among the most recent recipients of the Saul Wiseman Garden Grants, presented by the Sacramento Perennial Plant Club.

The Tahoe Park Neighborhood Association Community Garden was among the most recent recipients of the Saul Wiseman Garden Grants, presented by the Sacramento Perennial Plant Club.

Photo by Risë Ryan, courtesy Sacramento Perennial Plant Club

With school starting again, the region's garden groups and community nonprofits also swing back into action soon. It's a good time to remind them all that grants are available for area gardening projects from local garden clubs. It's not too early to put the application deadlines on the calendar.

The Folsom Garden Club presents grants each year to nonprofit organizations within the city of Folsom. The funds are raised each year from the club's garden tour, and they typicaly are distributed in amounts from $200 to $1,500. The submission deadline this year is Oct. 11.

The grants committee evaluates applications with the following criteria:

-- The botanical, horticultural, historic, and/or educational interest of the project.

-- The community impact of the project:  The project location, public access, and interest, etc.

-- The planning, future maintenance and/or monitoring of the project:  How it was developed and how it will be executed and maintained.

-- Funding history and plans:  Other sources of funds, current budget, and goals for future funding.

The application and other information can be found here:

Incidently, the Folsom Garden Club also offers scholarships for college students in Placer, Sacramento, El Dorado or Yolo County pursuing degrees in horticulture, landscape design, botany or related topics. Application deadline for the 2024-25 academic year is April 15, 2024. More information is available here.

Another grant program is offered by the Sacramento Perennial Plant Club. The Saul Wiseman Gardening Grants, the club notes, are awarded annually to nonprofit groups, schools and community groups within Sacramento County. The funds are intended to help with gardening projects or activities that emphasize education, service and enhancement to the area's diverse community.

This past year, the club presented grants to four schools and three other gardens: the Grassland Garden at Niños Parkway in South Natomas, the Project AWE Youth Farm in Elk Grove, and the Tahoe Park Neighborhood Association Community Garden.

The deadline for these grant applications is Jan. 12, 2024.  The application form can be downloaded at 


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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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