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Give UC Davis' Good Life Garden a helping hand

Volunteers needed for spring renovation; learn about vegetable planting

Smiling volunteers
Join in Community Volunteer Day on Saturday at the UC Davis Good Life Garden. (Photo courtesy UC Davis Arboretum & Public Gardens)

What better way to celebrate spring than getting your hands dirty?

This Saturday, March 26, the UC Davis Arboretum is looking for helping hands to participate in its Community Volunteer Day. The project: Replanting the beds at the Good Life Garden in the courtyard of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science,

“Join us for another volunteer day!” say the organizers. “Get outside, get your hands dirty and help beautify the Good Life Garden while getting tips on the best prep and planting methods for growing veggies.”

As a sampler of California’s bounty, the Good Life Garden features dozens of varieties of vegetables, fruit and herbs. In addition, bee-friendly flowers bring in beneficial insects. With its ever-changing edible landscape, the garden has become a popular venue for weddings and major campus events.

Volunteers will tackle the project from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Participation is free, but volunteers should register in advance. Space is limited.

To register:

For more on the arboretum: . The Mondavi Institute can be reached from the Old Davis Road exit off Interstate 80. Link to the campus map is here .


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Feb. 5

Make the most of sunny days and get winter tasks done:

* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray during foggy weather or when rain is forecast.

* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

* Finish pruning roses and deciduous trees.

* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.

* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.

* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.

* Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.

* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.

* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.

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