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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 Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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