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Get smart before you spray for pests!

Learn about pesticides during free webinar

Several bottles of pesticides
Do you know what you're spraying on your garden?
Learn about pesticides during a free webinar
from the UC IPM. (Photo courtesy Fred Hoffman)

What you don’t know can kill you. When it comes to pesticides, that’s particularly true.

By definition, these common chemicals are killers. Their intended target may be pests – bugs, mites and destructive critters of all kinds – but they can be extremely dangerous to people, pets and beneficial wildlife, too.

How do you handle these deadly chemicals? With care – and education.

Learn about pesticides – how to use them, store them, dispose of them and more – during a free webinar presented by the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Urban and Community Program.

Set for noon Thursday, Nov. 18, “Understanding Pesticides” also will include how to cut down on chemical use in the garden.
Karey Windbiel-Rojas , associate director for Urban & Community IPM and an area IPM adviser for Yolo and Sacramento counties, will be the presenter.

“Pesticides can be a part of integrated pest management efforts to control pests around the home and landscape,” say the organizers. “However, it is important to understand how to use them safely and effectively to protect human health, non-target species, and the environment. This webinar will cover pesticide basics including types of pesticides, understanding pesticide labels, and how to use them safely.”

Registration is now open for this one-hour webinar and is necessary to receive the Zoom link. To sign up, go to: .


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For week of Dec. 10:

Take advantage of these dry but crisp conditions. It’s time to get out the rake!

* Rake leaves away from storm drains and keep gutters clear.

* Fallen leaves can be used for mulch and compost. Chop up large leaves with a couple of passes with a lawn mower.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Without their foliage, trees are easier to prune.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Make sure to take frost precautions with new transplants and sensitive plants. Mulch, water and cover tender plants in the late afternoon to retain warmth.

* Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Don’t water succulents before frost; cover instead. Use cloth sheets, not plastic. Make sure to remove coverings during the day.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eaves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Plant garlic (December's the last chance -- the ground is getting cold!) and onions for harvest in summer.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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