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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 Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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