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McKinley Park rose garden needs you!

Volunteers can sign up for Saturday's annual prune-athon

rose garden with arch
Getting the McKinley Park Rose Garden to look this good in spring takes a lot
of work in winter. The annual pruning event will be held this Saturday. (Photos:
Debbie Arrington)

Got shears? It’s pruning time at McKinley Park’s Memorial Rose Garden. Volunteers are needed for Saturday’s annual Prune-athon, when the garden’s 1,200-plus roses get a yearly trim.

No prior experience is necessary. It’s a great opportunity to learn about rose care while also helping a beloved local landmark.

Experienced pruners are welcome, too. Wear thick gloves, long sleeves and closed-toe shoes.

Considered among Sacramento’s most romantic places, the McKinley Park rose garden has been the site of hundreds of weddings and other special events. It was also featured in the hit movie “Lady Bird.” This annual pruning helps those roses look so good in spring, summer and fall.

Volunteers need to be at least age 13 and must fill out a participation form, available here: Registration and parking are free.

Pruning group at rose garden
Many hands -- and pruning shears -- make the work go faster
at the McKinley Park Rose Garden. This photo is from several
years ago.
The prune-athon will start cutting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, and continue until 1 p.m. Volunteers will be treated to a hot soup lunch, courtesy of Friends of East Sacramento.

Questions? Email


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Feb. 5

Make the most of sunny days and get winter tasks done:

* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray during foggy weather or when rain is forecast.

* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

* Finish pruning roses and deciduous trees.

* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.

* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.

* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.

* Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.

* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.

* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.

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