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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
Morrison)

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: https://surveys.ucanr.edu/survey.cfm?surveynumber=36315

Visit the El Dorado master gardeners' website https://mgeldorado.ucanr.edu/ 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: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83410416355?

Passcode: garden

The Placer master gardeners' main website is https://pcmg.ucanr.org/ where the calendar of all their late-winter Zoom workshops is available.

-- Kathy Morrison

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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Oct. 2

Plan to make the most of the mild weather in your garden.

* October is the best month to plant trees and shrubs.

* October also is the best time to plant perennials in our area. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to planting holes or beds, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioluses, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

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Send us a gardening question, a post suggestion or information about an upcoming event.  sacdigsgardening@gmail.com