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Here's a gift that works all year long


Calendar with green bow
Gardening Guide and Calendar for Sacramento or Placer

Those gift-of-the-month deals are thoughtful, but how about a gift that gives every day of the year? Gardeners of all levels of experience will appreciate a Gardening Guide and Calendar created by local master gardeners. The Sacramento and Placer County groups each produce their own calendar, tailored for the local climate.

The Sacramento County Gardening Guide focuses on "Fruit: Something Old, Something New" for 2022, including descriptions of exotic fruit -- dragon fruit! jujubes! -- plus planting and pruning tips. The calendar has plenty of room to make notes on your garden's progress. I like to include weather details, too, so I can track rain, frost warnings and heat spikes.

But there is a wealth of other information packed into and along with the calendar portion. Monthly maintenance reminders, a vegetable planting chart, tips for frost protection and disease prevention -- it's like having your own garden consultant on hand at all times. Great photos, too.

All this for $10, including tax, when purchased in person at Sacramento MG events such as Open Gardens (next one is Jan. 22).  Alternatively, the Gardening Guide can be ordered online; see details here. Some area nurseries also sell the calendar, potentially for a slightly higher price. The list of those retailers can be found here .

Sacramento County's master gardener website is sacmg.ucanr.edu . Check it out for garden info of all kinds, as well as details on "Bright Lights, Garden Delights" to be held Monday evenings this month at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center.

The Placer County Gardening Guide theme for its 30th anniversary edition is "Let's Grow! Tips for a Great Garden." It includes what to plant each month, pest management tips and gorgeous photos.

The Placer version is sold out online, but is still available at retailers in Placer, Nevada and El Dorado counties; the list of those is here . (It's best to call ahead and check whether a particular store still has the Gardening Guides in stock.)

The Placer County master gardeners' website is https://pcmg.ucanr.org/

-- Kathy Morrison

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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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