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Get great advice for container gardening in free workshop

Placer County master gardeners offer class in person and via Zoom

Pot of orange and purple flowers
Container plants can add bright color
where you need it. Learn about container
gardening in person or online this Saturday.
(Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Container gardening can turn any outdoor (or indoor) space into garden space.

Learn how to successfully garden in pots during a free workshop offered both in person and via Zoom.

Hosted by the UCCE Master Gardeners of Placer County, “Container Gardening” will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 2, at the Loomis Library, 6050 Library Drive, Loomis. Or check in on Zoom; pre-register here: .

“Container gardening is a great solution if you don’t have a suitable garden space,” say the master gardeners. “This workshop will cover choosing the right container, plant selection tips, transplanting and more. Learn how to be successful growing ornamental plants, as well as fruit and vegetables.”

The hand-outs for this workshop – including tips, getting started and trouble shooting – are already available online here: ,

Among the excellent tips:

• Anything that can hold soil and has at least one drainage hole (two to three holes are better) can serve as a planter. Often “found” unconventional items make excellent pots.
• When using pots that have contained other plants, you may want to use a 10% bleach solution to disinfect your container and tools. This solution is active for 20 minutes; it's best not to store the solution.
• Large containers retain more moisture than small ones. This is especially true with hanging baskets.
• Grouping containers together is an attractive way to display potted plants.
• Use soil-less mix for containers. Commonly known as potting soil, there is no soil in this mix.

That’s just a slice of the advice that will be presented Saturday.

Details and upcoming workshops: .


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For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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