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Get help for fall from region's master gardeners

Open garden, classes in-person and on Zoom are scheduled

Small kale plant with a plant ID marker
At the Sept. 11 Open Garden, check out what's growing in the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center's Vegetable Garden. (Bet there will be kale.) (Photo:
Kathy Morrison)

The light is changing, the summer garden is winding down.  As planning and planting for fall begin in earnest, gardeners can reap loads of advice from the UCCE master gardeners of the region. While each of the counties has its own program, the advice each group offers is often applicable across the Sacramento gardening area, with some tweaks for microclimates.

Here are some upcoming master gardener classes and events:

--- The Yolo County master gardeners will hold a "Kitchen Garden Chat" this Saturday, Sept. 4, starting at 10 a.m. The master gardeners will discuss "how to finish up your summer  garden, what to do with your winter garden and seed saving." The event will be both in person -- at the Leake Room of the Woodland Library -- and on Zoom. The link to join via Zoom is here:

-- The Open Garden on Saturday, Sept. 11, from 9 a.m. to noon, will be the first by the Sacramento County master gardeners since February 2020. The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, the MGs' demonstration garden, has undergone several changes since then, including the installation of the beautiful Chuck Ingels Memorial Gate. The FOHC is at 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Fair Oaks.

Master gardeners will be on hand to answer questions about composting, orchard and vineyard care, winter vegetables,  berry and herb gardening, and landscaping with limited water. Gardeners with questions can bring samples or pictures of problem plants to the Ask a Master Gardener table. The Gardening Guide and Calendar also will be on sale, for $10. For more information:

-- Invasive plants! Preventing them is the focus of a "Wild Wanderers" Zoom workshop presented from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, by the Placer County master gardeners. Learn how to fight "Thugs, Multipliers and Pests," as the MGs call them. Zoom link: passcode: garden.

This is the beautiful cover of the Placer master
gardeners' Gardening Guide and Calendar.

The Placer Master gardeners will release their 2022 Gardening Guide and Calendar on Sept. 7. For a sneak peek, go here:

-- Another valuable Zoom class, "Landscape Transformation," is offered online from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, by the master gardeners of El Dorado and Amador counties. Registration is free but required; to register go here:

-- Kathy Morrison


Sacramento Digs Gardening plans to change (and upgrade, we hope) our newsletter distribution service soon. Anyone already on our subscription list will be migrated to our new list, but you may be asked to reconfirm your interest in receiving the newsletter version of our blog. The blog itself will stay at its present blogspot address for now, but also will move to a new site later this fall, giving us more flexibility in design and offerings.

Thanks for reading!

Debbie and Kathy


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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