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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 . 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

-- Kathy Morrison


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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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