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Five plant sales not to miss this fall — all featuring California native plants

Rows of plants at the Theodore Payne Foundation Fall Sale last year.
(Theodore Payne Foundation)

It’s time to shake off the quarantine blues and get outside and garden. After all, autumn is planting and plant sale season in Southern California.

Unfortunately, many pop-up fall plant sales have been canceled due to COVID-19, such as the popular one at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens. However, we found five that are soldiering on — online or in person, including one at the Theodore Payne Foundation, which specializes in wildflowers and native plants.

Maybe your first-ever victory garden wasn’t a smash success this summer, but don’t give up now. Fall is prime planting time for edibles in Southern California, a more forgiving time with fewer demands for water or worries about scorching your plants. Now is the time to plant berries for spring harvest as well as a lush palette of greens, root crops, peas and brassicas for harvest throughout the winter.

Fall is prime planting time in Southern California to get berries established for spring harvest and fill your larder with tasty greens, brassicas, peas and root crops all winter long.

Fall is prime planting time for Southern California, but after summer your garden soil gets depleted of the nutrients it needs to keep plants happy, so before you start your fall garden, take time to add fresh amendments to your soil, such as compost and aged manure.

Here’s where the experts go to get their garden amendments, served up with a more personalized shopping experience.

“I’m excited that gardeners have something positive to focus their energy on and to be able to continue to offer the sale in a safe way. Because we were closed to the public for six months, we have been able to focus on growing some beautiful quality plants,” said Evan Meyer, executive director of the foundation.

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Face masks, social distancing and clean hands are required at all events, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and regional health guidelines.

Oct. 8

The California Native Plant Sale by the Riverside-San Bernardino Chapter of the California Native Plant Society is online this year. Since the supply of popular and easy-care native plants, seeds and bulbs is a bit limited, the chapter recommends shopping early. Scheduled pickups for purchases will be Nov. 7 and 8 in Redlands. CNPS members will be emailed a 10% discount code. riverside-sanbernardino.cnps.org

Jamie Renee Williams turned a tiny strip of dirt outside her apartment into an edible garden. You can tour it online during the LA Design Festival.

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Oct. 26-Nov. 8

The Fullerton Arboretum California Native Plant Sale goes virtual this year due to the pandemic. The upside is that plant fans get a longer shopping window for the online event. There will be 132 varieties of California native plants and 38 non-native plants for sale. Members receive early access beginning Oct. 19, plus a 10% discount. (Details on how plant purchases can be picked up are pending; the plant list should be posted soon.) 1900 Associated Road, Fullerton. fullertonarboretum.org

Farmer Rishi Kumar grows top-tier fruits and offers gardening tips on Instagram: “Gardening is such an important way of connecting with the earth, connecting with ourselves and eating well.”

Oct. 24-25

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UC Riverside Botanic Gardens Online Fall Plant Sale includes California native and water-wise plants grown in the garden, as well as plants that attract native pollinators. Friends of the Garden get 10% off. The plant sale list will be posted at least one week before the sale. Customers will pick up purchased plants on Nov. 5 and 6 from the entrance of the UCR Botanic Gardens, 1 Botanic Gardens Drive. gardens.ucr.edu

Nov. 5-24

Checkout at the Theodore Payne Foundation 2019 Fall Sale
Checkout at the Theodore Payne Foundation 2019 Fall Sale — this year, the checkout will be outside.
(Theodore Payne Foundation)

Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants 2020 Fall Plant Sale is the foundation’s biggest sale of the year, with a large assortment of native plants, bulbs, seeds and other gear at 15% off normal prices for members and 10% off for nonmembers. Instead of the usual three-day event, this year’s sale will last three weeks to make it easier for everyone to get a two-hour shopping appointment, Meyer said. Shopping and payment are all outside. Appointments are per vehicle (with up to four guests) reserved through eventbrite between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Horticultural and landscape experts will be available to help customers pick plants. The entire inventory also is available online but discounts are only available in person. 10459 Tuxford St., Sun Valley. theodorepayne.org

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Nov. 5-May

Grow Native Nursery at California Botanic Garden (formerly the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden) will feature more than 250 native California plants in its online sale. The sale will offer local pickup only without an option for shipping or delivery. Danielle Wildeson, California Botanic Garden’s visitor experience coordinator, advised via email that staff will coordinate pickup times with customers after purchase. CalBG members get access to presale dates and will be emailed a discount code for 10% off. “Upon arrival, customers will drive into an assigned parking bay to retrieve their plants via contactless pickup.” 1500 N. College Ave., Claremont. calbg.org

Happy planting.

Updates:

7:20 PM, Oct. 02, 2020: This story has been updated to reflect that the Fullerton Arboretum California Native Plant Sale has expanded its sale dates from Oct. 29-Nov. 6 to Oct. 26-Nov. 8


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