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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: California native plants are on gardeners’ most wanted list

Taylor Lewis believes in the power of natives. As an expert in California native plants, he’s been preaching this botanical gospel for years. But it took the drought to finally get that message to sink in with other gardeners.

“That’s what people are looking for – California natives,” said Lewis, who...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Harvesting acorns for a future urban forest

So many different species of oaks inhabit our urban forest, finding pure-bred acorns can be difficult. That’s one of the complications that face Sacramento acorn harvesters.

“We don’t want to plant all sorts of interesting hybrids,” said restoration ecologist Zarah Wyly, who leads the Sacramento Tree Foundation’s annual acorn...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Find inspiration for fall gardening at these events

It’s a Sacramento axiom as old as our valley oaks: Fall is for planting.

To beginning gardeners, this seems counter-intuitive. (Isn’t nature getting ready for its long winter’s nap?) But warm autumn weather creates ideal conditions for strong root development, and a healthy start for new transplants.

So,...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Brothers and sisters, it is time to save your soil

Plants (and people) aren’t the only ones suffering through this epic drought. Our soil has taken a huge hit, too.

“Our soils are scorched,” said Gisele Schoniger of Kellogg Garden Products. “They need replenishment more than fertilizer.”

Early fall is an ideal time to give our soil...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Quilters piece together tribute to State Parks

From simple needle and thread grew history preserved in fabric.

Inspired by their favorite state parks, quilters throughout California pieced together a fitting tribute to a milestone anniversary. And now the public is invited to two parties to celebrate – including one today.

California’s State Parks system...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Begonias survive shaker, now ready for show

Joan Coulat admits she was shook up by the Aug. 24 Napa quake – and so were a thousand begonias.

These prized plants already had been through some near-death experiences. But they’re true survivors – and remarkably thriving.

“Now, I just want somebody to come and buy them,”...

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The Sacramento Bee
Historic Woodland ready for annual Stroll

There are benefits to being off the beaten path.

Richard Bellows cites location as key to the preservation of Woodland’s downtown, filled with buildings a century old or more.

“We’re not on Highway 99,” said Bellows, a local historian. “A lot of (central California) cities probably had mansions...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Trees need extra TLC during drought

Walk down almost any residential street in Sacramento and you’ll see the cumulative effects of this dry, dry year. Often in the middle of a brown lawn stands a very sad, droopy tree.

Once drought restrictions are lifted, the lawn can be renewed or replaced in a matter of weeks. But...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Preserve that produce on

Got too many tomatoes? Cucumbers piling up? Overloaded with peaches? It’s time to can it – and we know some folks willing to help.

Today is International Can-It-Forward Day, a celebration of harvest preservation. This self-proclaimed holiday is the brain child of Jarden Home Brands, the makers of Ball brand...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Bad bugs invade our summer gardens

With armored bodies or weapon-shaped limbs, they look like creatures from an unfriendly alien world – or a blockbuster movie. But their damage is very real. Seemingly out of nowhere, they invade to suck the joy out of our tranquil summer harvest.

It’s the Invasion of the Bad Bugs.

...

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