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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 Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

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

* 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.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

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

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

* 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.

* 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.

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