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Soil Born Farms offers Halloween activities Saturday

Family event includes treats for costumed kids, music, more

Soil Born farms youth garden
Tiny princesses, superheroes and ghosts (not to mention other costumed kids) will be welcome to explore Soil Born Farms' Youth Garden this Saturday. (2019 photo by Kathy Morrison)

With no rain in the forecast until at least Monday, this weekend offers a great chance to get outdoors and enjoy harvest and Halloween-related activities.

Among these is Halloween at the Farm, specifically Soil Born Farms from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30.

Visitors to Soil Born Farms' American River Ranch in Rancho Cordova can explore the grounds while listening to music by the Millington Strings Quartet.

The Youth Garden will be a fun place for children to learn and play, and those in costume can trick or treat at the Concierge tent. Soil Born notes that walk-in registration is on a first-come, first-served basis at the Youth Garden gate, with a $5 suggested donation per family to help cover the costs of materials. Any proceeds will benefit the Youth Education program.

Soil Born Farms also is a great resource for gardeners. Anyone who has or wants to plant fruit trees might want to get in on the Fruit Tree Care Talks, scheduled at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Saturday, as well as 9 and 11 a.m. on Nov. 20. Cost is $5, and registration is available on the website here .

The America River Ranch is at 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova. The Soil Born Farms home page is

-- Kathy Morrison


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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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