Dan Vierria

Gardening Columnist

About This Author

As a senior writer for The Sacramento Bee, Dan Vierria covered media, food, restaurants, pop culture/trends and home & garden. Currently, he is a freelance writer, social media page administrator and certified University of California Master Gardener for Sacramento County.

Articles by this author

It’s Personal

Gardening holds hands with serotonin levels. It’s an organic neurotransmitter, relaying a sense of well-being after a few snips of hand pruners. During the darkness of pandemic and politics, we can discover peace among plants, solace in soil.

What personal enjoyment do you harvest from time spent in the garden? Well, it’s personal, but a few folks opened their hearts.

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Growing Together

Weathered, wrinkled and wrapped in a headscarf, the face was all smiles. Cupped in outstretched hands were three cucumbers. “You?” she asked. How could I refuse?

Thanking her, I felt a twinge of guilt for not being able to match her generosity. A language barrier limited communication, but I knew from past growing seasons that she coveted the cantaloupes growing a few feet away in my community garden plot. None were ripe that day, but there would be cantaloupes to share in days to come.

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Fall Forward

Fall Forward Gardeners get busy when seasons change By Dan Vierria September 2020 Fall arrives...

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Farm Fresh

Locking onto a snail with laser-guidance precision, Randy Paragary delivers a lightning strike on the gluttonous gastropod. “He died during the journey,” he says. With apologies to escargot, snails would be wise to steer clear of this backyard vegetable garden.

Paragary, his wife Stacy and executive chef-business partner Kurt Spataro have kept Sacramentans well fed and entertained for decades. While retaining his local dining and entertainment venues, Paragary has evolved his interests in recent years to include Midtown’s new Fort Sutter Hotel and (drumroll, please) his backyard tomatoes and other edibles.

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Gardening That is Too Hot To Handle

Summer days in Sacramento, when air becomes insufferably hot and soil bakes to Death Valley beige, can test our gardening superpowers. The challenge of keeping plants happy and alive is compounded by watering mandates, courtesy of below normal rainfall and Sierra snowpack.

People and pets need protection and ample hydration when summer’s blast furnace goes triple digits. So do plants. Our leafy friends are not able to bolt for an air-conditioned kitchen and refreshing drink.

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