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Green Acres hosts free Fall Festival at all seven locations

Pumpkin contests, workshops and games are part of garden fun for the whole family

Pumpkins and squash and gourds galore are available at all seven Green Acres locations. This Saturday, during the Fall Festival, each site will hold a pumpkin decorating/carving contest.

Pumpkins and squash and gourds galore are available at all seven Green Acres locations. This Saturday, during the Fall Festival, each site will hold a pumpkin decorating/carving contest. Photo courtesy Green Acres Nursery & Supply

Fall is for planting – and pumpkins! Need inspiration? You’ll find plenty during Saturday’s Fall Festival at Green Acres Nursery & Supply.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 30, all seven Green Acres locations will host gardening fun for the whole family. Admission and parking are free.

Each location is hosting a pumpkin decorating contest. Decorate and/or carve the pumpkin in advance and enter it before 9:30 a.m. at the store’s contest table. “Your pumpkin may be large or small, painted or carved, it's up to your imagination,” says Green Acres. Categories include Scariest, Silliest and Most Creative. Winners will be announced Monday, Oct. 2.

Need a pumpkin? Pumpkin patches are already open at each Green Acres. Among the featured varieties: Carving, Fairytale, Lumina, Lil’ Pump-Ke-Mon, Cinderella, Jarrahdale, Big Max, Cronus, Iron Man, Knucklehead, One Too Many and Lunch Lady plus mini pumpkins, winged gourds and gooseneck gourds.

On Saturday, kids can paint a pumpkin at special activity stations. Kids of all ages can play pumpkin bowling or corn hole. Listen to live music, take part in a scavenger hunt or try to win dessert in a pie walk. In addition, the Auburn store will host a petting zoo.

DIY workshops will show how to plant a pumpkin with succulents or pot up mums combined with other fall flowers for a container garden with instant pops of autumn color.

Local garden groups will host information tables. The Sacramento County master gardeners will be on site at the Sacramento and Elk Grove stores from 9 a.m. to noon to answer gardening questions. Get advice on what to plant now and other seasonal gardening tips. 

The line-up of entertainment and activities is a little different at each location. Find it here: https://idiggreenacres.com/pages/fall-festival-2023.

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

For addresses and directions: https://idiggreenacres.com/.

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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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