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Get more buzz in your garden

Free workshop shows how to attract more beneficial insects

Betty Boop rose
A honeybee is attracted to these Betty Boop roses. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)

Want more buzz in your garden? Learn how to attract bees and other beneficial insects during a free virtual workshop, hosted by the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Nevada County.

Set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, “Encouraging Beneficial Insects” is open to gardeners everywhere with no advance registration required. Just click the link and Zoom on in. Find it here: .

Beneficial insects include a lot more bugs than honeybees.

“Pollinators are necessary for food and flower production,” say the master gardeners. “Parasitic insects are healthy alternatives to chemical pesticides. We’ll explain why these insects are desirable and what they need to flourish in your garden.

“We’ll list specific beneficial insects, and specific plants they love in Nevada County,” they add, “and teach you how to use online resources to find more insects and plants on your own.”

That plant list is applicable to most of the greater Sacramento region, too. Plant them and they will come!

Attracting beneficial insects to your great outdoors will make your landscape a much livelier place. Bees, butterflies, lady beetles, praying mantises, parasitoid wasps and more can help you be a better and more thoughtful gardener.

The Nevada County master gardeners hope to start holding in-person public workshops soon. In the meantime, Zoom workshops will continue as an alternative. Upcoming topics include: “Native Plants Bring Beauty and Benefits” (in two parts, Feb. 19 and 26); fire-wise landscaping (March 5); and “Functional Irrigation” (March 12). All workshops start at 10 a.m.

Details: .


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* 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.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

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

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

* 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. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* 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.

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

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