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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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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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