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Choice of Open Gardens this next week at Fair Oaks Horticulture Center

Morning and late afternoon events showcase blooming Horticulture Center

Sall yellow flowers
See what's blooming at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center this Saturday morning
or on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 18. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Weather swings notwithstanding, May is gorgeous at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center. Over the next seven days, the Sacramento County master gardeners offer two opportunities to view the demonstration garden at its spring best.

This Saturday, May 14, the Open Garden will be at the usual time: 9 a.m. to noon. Then on Wednesday, May 18, for the first time FOHC will be open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., for visitors coming home from work or school, or folks interested in a pleasant stroll before dinner.  At both events, all areas of the one-acre Horticulture Center will be staffed, with master gardeners ready to answer all types of gardening questions.

Expect to see plenty of pollinators in the Water Efficient Landscape area.  Master gardeners there are creating a model wildlife habitat garden for a home landscape with plantings, bee and bird houses. In the Orchard, crop thinning will be taking place. Ask about fighting pests such as codling moth!

The Vegetable Garden will have the burgeoning summer crops on view. The Compost Area team will offer tips for success, as well as answer questions on California's new composting law. (That goes into effect in July.) The Berry Area, Herb Garden and Vineyard also will be busy -- it's that time of year!

Water use is of course a big topic for gardeners. Throughout the Horticulture Center, visitors will see ways to use water more wisely with mulch, irrigation techniques and water-efficient landscaping.

The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is at 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks, south of Fair Oaks Park and Madison Avenue.

For more information or directions to the Open Garden days, go to .

-- Kathy Morrison


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Feb. 5

Make the most of sunny days and get winter tasks done:

* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray during foggy weather or when rain is forecast.

* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

* Finish pruning roses and deciduous trees.

* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.

* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.

* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.

* Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.

* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.

* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.

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