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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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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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