Plan ahead for special fall garden events

This time of year is when gardeners begin to anticipate some relief from summer heat and cooler, more enjoyable outdoor time. The searing days of summer are a perfect time to plan landscape improvements, and fall is the best time to implement them.

The late fall months of October and November are especially ideal for re-landscaping. Cooler daytime temperatures mean that plants experience less shock when planting or transplanting, and still-warm soil and occasional rain showers encourage the growth of new roots before wintertime cold prompts plants to go dormant.


Take advantage of these upcoming events to buy special new plants, view well-designed gardens, learn some new landscaping concepts, connect with fellow plant lovers, or simply get outside in a beautiful setting. They are, in roughly chronological order:

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California Native Plant Society (CNPS), Stockton subchapter outreach events

  • When: Thursday, September 5 and Thursday, October 3 from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m.
  • Where: Food Truck Fest, Oak Grove Regional Park, 4520 W. Eight Mile Road, Stockton
  • Website: https://www.sacvalleycnps.org/stockton

This small but dedicated group is committed to improving our local community through the use of durable, pollinator-friendly, water-wise native plants. Stockton CNPS also co-manages the native plant garden at Oak Grove Regional Park. Talk with Stockton CNPS volunteers at one of these two evening events, or visit their table at the Sandhill Crane Festival, November 2 and 3 at Hutchins Street Square in Lodi.

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San Joaquin Master Gardener monthly gardening presentations

  • When: Second Monday of the month from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Where: Lodi Library, 201 W. Locust Street, Lodi
  • Website: ucanr.edu/sjmg

Join local Master Gardeners for these free and informative classes! Our schedule for the remainder of the year is: September 9—Winter Vegetable Garden (with a bonus presentation on “Pickling Veggies” by San Joaquin County Master Food Preservers); October 14—Growing Succulents; November 11—Soil Health, Composting, Fertilizing; and December 9—Success with Houseplants. Class size is limited; please reserve your seat in advance by calling 209-953-6100.

The 2019 San Joaquin County Master Gardener/Master Food Preserver class schedule

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Fair Oaks Horticulture Center Open Garden

This beautiful center is the demonstration garden for the UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County. It’s divided into several different areas: a water-efficient landscape, a composting area, an irrigation display, and an edible garden with fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, and more. Open house mini-demonstrations will be held at 10 a.m.; topics include “Fall Planting and Plant Selections,” “Propagating Herbs,” and “How to Grow a Raisin.”

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CNPS Fall Native Plant Sale (Sacramento Valley chapter)

This annual sale features a wide variety of California native perennials, shrubs, and trees; proceeds help support CNPS’s educational and conservation work.Anyone who joins CNPS or renews their membership at this sale receives a complimentary one-gallon plant from Elderberry Farms, the CNPS native plant nursery in Rancho Cordova.(Note: In past years, this was a two-day event; the sale will NOT be held on Sunday this year.)

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San Joaquin Master Gardener Fall Open Garden Day

  • When: Saturday, September 28 from 9:00 a.m. to noon
  • Where: Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center, 2101 E. Earhart Ave., Stockton
  • Website: ucanr.edu/sjmg

Join your local Master Gardener volunteers for a fun and informative day at the Learning Landscape demonstration garden! Wander the different sections of the garden—pollinator, Mediterranean, California native, edible, and foliage—and visit our many information booths. (More details to come in an upcoming article.) 

Note: Registration for our upcoming Smart Gardening Conference (January 25, 2020) will open in late October 2019. Visit our website to sign up for our free newsletter, which has event updates and informative articles on a wealth of garden-related topics.

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UC Davis Arboretum Plant Sales

  • When: Saturday, September 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (members only); Saturday, September 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (public sale); Saturday, October 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (public sale); Saturday, November 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (public clearance sale)
  • Where: UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery, Garrod Drive (across from the Veterinary School), UCD campus, Davis
  • Website: https://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/plant-sales

These sales are very popular, so arrive early for the best selection and parking space! This one-acre nursery is packed with California natives and other pollinator-friendly plants, including those special ones designated as “Arboretum All-Stars.” Enjoy the on-site water-wise landscaping, seek guidance from gardening experts, and take advantage of educational displays. Make this a half- or full-day outing to allow time to visit the nearby Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California Native Plants and to wander the Arboretum pathways.

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CNPS Fall Native Plant Sale (North San Joaquin Valley chapter)

  • When: Saturday, October 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (tentative)
  • Where: Hughson Arboretum and Gardens, 2940 Euclid Ave., Hughson (NW corner of E. Whitmore Rd. and Euclid Ave.)
  • Website: https://nsj.cnps.org/index.php       

This annual sale is held in cooperation with the Hughson Arboretum, whose mission is “to plant, maintain and make available to the public, native tree and plant species, trees of historic value, or other types of plant material to promote education about and appreciation of our natural environment….” The sale date is still tentative, so be sure to check the website for updates and confirmation.

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CNPS Fall Native Plant Sale (Sierra Foothills chapter)

  • When: Saturday, October 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Where: Rocca Park, 18226 Main Street, Jamestown
  • Contact: Stephanie Garcia, Plant Sales Chair, (209) 586-3593 or sjgarcia@mlode.com      

Shop for shrubs and perennials that need minimal water during our hot summer months, and consult with knowledgeable “plant people.” Anyone who volunteers to help at this event can select favorite plants to buy before the sale opens to the public.

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For gardening-related questions, call the UC Master Gardener office at 209-953-6112, or visit our website: http://sjmastergardeners.ucanr.edu/.

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