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Celebrate National Seed Swap Day in Fair Oaks

Share seeds with other gardeners and bring home some for your own garden, too

Coin envelopes are convenient storage for extra seeds to swap or save. Label with the year collected or purchased as well as the variety of seed.

Coin envelopes are convenient storage for extra seeds to swap or save. Label with the year collected or purchased as well as the variety of seed. Kathy Morrison

Got more seeds than you know what to do with – and still need more?

Here’s an opportunity to share that wealth while also filling your own garden with varieties you haven’t yet grown.

On Saturday, Jan. 27, the Fair Oaks Branch Library will host “Sacramento Seed Swap and Share,” a local celebration of National Seed Swap Day.

From 1 to 3 p.m., the public is invited to bring vegetable, flower and herb seeds to this free event to swap with other gardeners – or just to share. The seed should come from non-hybrid varieties such as heirloom tomatoes, squash or beans. It can be seed saved from the grower’s own garden or commercially produced.

“Come trade and share seeds! Save money, reduce waste, and increase biodiversity!” say the organizers. “Bring open-pollinated and/or heirloom vegetable, flower, herb and native plant seeds to share. Leave with new varieties to try. Share knowledge and experience about seed saving and starting plants from seed.”

Held on the last Saturday in January, National Seed Swap Day serves as “a reminder that spring is on the way,” say its creators. For most gardeners, late January is a perfect time to take stock of their seed supply while considering what to grow this spring, summer and fall.

Swapping seeds is as old as farming; so is saving seeds to grow or swap with others. Think of it as green recycling. Not only does seed swapping and sharing increase the diversity of the plants you grow, it saves money, too.

Bring envelopes and a pencil or pen to label your seed acquisitions. Bring your own seeds to swap or share, too.

Fair Oaks Branch Library is located at 11601 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Fair Oaks.

For more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1789593944880108.

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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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