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Look for signs of spring at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center

Master gardeners host February Open Garden on Saturday

Peach blossoms
If the Eva's Pride peach tree is blooming, can spring be far off? The Fair Oaks Horticulture
Center orchard trees are just beginning to show off their blossoms. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

We all want rain, but might as well enjoy the sunny days we have, right? No better opportunity arrives than on Saturday, Feb. 12, when the Sacramento County master gardeners present their February Open Garden.

Open Garden Day gives visitors access to the entire Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, which is just south of Fair Oaks Park at 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd. The FOHC is the master gardeners' demonstration garden, but usually just the front portion -- the Water Efficient Landscape, or WEL -- is open daily to the public.

But all the gates will be open Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon, and visitors will be able to see how the warm late-winter weather is affecting the various growing areas. Master gardeners will staff each area and answer gardening questions.

In the orchard,  the Eva's Pride peach tree leads the way in blooming. Expect to see those beautiful pink blossoms abuzz with bees.

Red wigglers
Visit the worms at the compost area of the Fair Oaks Horticulture

In the compost area, the master gardeners can tell all about worm composting while they're harvesting castings from the big bin full of red wigglers.

Other areas to visit include the berry garden -- where the blueberries have just been pruned -- the vegetable area, the herb garden and the vineyard.

For questions that don't quite fit into those areas, stop at the Ask a Master Gardener table, where they have all sorts of resources for backyard gardeners.

The 2022 Garden Guide will be for sale, $10 for invaluable growing information and a great calendar.

For general information on the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, go to

Can't make this event? The next Open Garden will be March 12.

-- Kathy Morrison


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For week of Nov. 26:

Concentrate on helping your garden stay comfortable during these frosty nights – and clean up all those leaves!

* Irrigate frost-tender plants such as citrus in the late afternoon. That extra soil moisture increases temperatures around the plant a few degrees, just enough to prevent frost damage. The exception are succulents; too much water before frost can cause them to freeze.

* Cover sensitive plants before the sun goes down. Use cloth sheets or frost cloths, not plastic sheeting, to hold in warmth. Make sure to remove covers in the morning.

* Use fall leaves as mulch around shrubs and vegetables. Mulch acts as a blanket and keeps roots warmer.

* Stop dead-heading; let rose hips form on bushes to prompt dormancy.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location – and definitely indoors overnight. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they’ll bloom again next December.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Plant spring bulbs. Don’t forget the tulips chilling in the refrigerator. Daffodils can be planted without pre-chilling.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers and plant such spring bloomers as sweet peas, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Plant trees and shrubs. They’ll benefit from fall and winter rains while establishing their roots.

* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins now. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb.

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