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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 Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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