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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 https://soilborn.org/

-- Kathy Morrison

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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