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Two Zoom workshops worth checking out this month

Sessions focus on straw-bale gardening, vegetable growing

Straw bale garden with plants
Here's one example of a straw-bale garden, at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center
in May 2018. Sweet potatoes were planted in the bales that year. (Photo: Kathy

Any gardener who'd just as soon not risk a crowd, even outdoors, right now should be happy to know that the region's master gardeners have your back.

Two free Zoom online workshops are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 22:

-- 9 a.m. to noon. "Spring and Summer Vegetables" is the topic covered by the El Dorado master gardeners. Master gardener Zack Dowell will discuss garden plant selection, planting times, site selection, soil preparation, proper seed planting techniques, and pest management.

Registration is free but required here:

Visit the El Dorado master gardeners' website to see what else they have planned for workshops through March.

-- 10:30-11:30 a.m. "Straw-Bale Gardening" is offered by the Placer County master gardeners. Straw-bale gardening in easily conditioned straw bales, they note, offers "no soil, no digging, no bending,  only a trowel needed."  The workshop will show how to set up and condition the bales, which can be used for all types of vegetables, from tomatoes to sweet potatoes, as well as herbs or flowers.

The Zoom Link:

Passcode: garden

The Placer master gardeners' main website is where the calendar of all their late-winter Zoom workshops is available.

-- Kathy Morrison


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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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