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Midweek event a great chance to explore Fair Oaks Horticulture Center

Open Garden should be buzzing with spring activit

Tree and yellow flowers
Lots of green, lots of blooms will be on display at the
April 13 Open Garden. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)


It's spring and a great time to see what’s popping at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center. The April Open Garden will be held midweek, from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, April 13.

Open Garden days are free, informal events where the entire Horticulture Center is open to the public. Each area of the garden is staffed with master gardeners who are ready and eager to answer gardeners' questions.

The Wednesday events gives anyone home for spring break or who usually works weekends an opportunity to enjoy the FOHC while it’s in the full flush of spring growth. The orchard area and the Water Efficient Landscape gardens are particularly interesting as summer pruning begins on the fruit trees and pollinators visit the WEL's many blooming perennials.

Plenty of activity also will be evident in the  center's other areas: the Vegetable Garden, the Herb Garden, the Vineyard, the Berry Patch and the Composting area.

The Ask a Master Gardener table will be staffed, so bring samples of problem plants or unknown pests for the master gardeners' examination and advice.

The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is at 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks, just south of the Fair Oaks Library. Madison Avenue is the closest cross-street.

For more information, call (916) 875-6913, or go to

-- Kathy Morrison


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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