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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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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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