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Prepare for spring during Open Garden Day

Master gardeners will be available to answer questions

Fair Oaks Horticulture Center with gate and people
The gates will be open and master gardeners on hand this Saturday during Open
Garden at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

How can I keep bugs from eating my vegetables? Can I plant an orange tree now? What are these weeds popping up? Which plants will bring hummingbirds to my garden? Do herbs grow well in pots? Which fertilizer is best for blueberries? How do I start a compost pile?

Spring is the busiest time for garden questions. If you have any of the ones above, or any others, the March Open Garden this Saturday at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is the place to get them answered.

From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 12, the Sacramento County master gardeners will be on site in all areas of the Horticulture Center, with tips and advice for spring planting.

Bring plant samples or unidentified insects (in plastic bags) to the Ask a Master Gardener table. The last copies of the 2022 Gardening Guide and Calendar will be on sale for the bargain price of $10.

The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is at 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks. south of Madison Boulevard, in Fair Oaks Park next to the library.

If you are unable to attend this Open Garden, these are scheduled for the rest of spring:

-- A mid-week Open Garden, 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, April 13;

-- Saturday morning Open Garden, 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 14;

-- An afternoon/evening Open Garden, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.,  Wednesday, May 18;

-- Saturday morning Open Garden, 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 18.

And save the date, Saturday, Aug. 6, for Harvest Day. The master gardeners' big annual event at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center will be held in person this year for the first time since 2019.

-- Kathy Morrison

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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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