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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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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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