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Find out which critter is eating your garden

Free workshop -- available via Zoom or in person -- offered by Placer County master gardeners

Raccoon
A vertebrate pest, such as this young raccoon,
can be a gardener's nemesis. (Photo by L. Fitzhugh,
courtesy UC Integrated Pest Management)

Ever wonder what’s eating your plants? How can you tell rat damage from raccoon foraging? And who’s digging all those holes?

Find out during a free workshop hosted by the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Placer County.

Set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 14, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – An Integrated Strategy for the Management of Vertebrate Pests” will tackle the pesky problem of identifying hungry and destructive critters.

The one-hour program will be offered via Zoom as well as in person at Loomis Library, 6050 Library Drive, Loomis.

“You will learn various methods to protect your garden from vertebrate pest damage,” say the organizers. “We will review the effectiveness of different methods and teach you how to minimize harm to the environment, other critters and your family. Some of the pests we will cover include squirrels, gophers, moles, voles, rabbits, raccoons and skunks.”

Learn effective ways to outsmart voracious varmints and save your garden – without the use of poisons or harmful chemicals.

No advance registration is necessary, although pre-registration for the Zoom presentation is encouraged. Find full details and Zoom links at: https://pcmg.ucanr.org/?calitem=527828&g=123640 .

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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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