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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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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Feb. 5

Make the most of sunny days and get winter tasks done:

* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray during foggy weather or when rain is forecast.

* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

* Finish pruning roses and deciduous trees.

* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.

* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.

* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.

* Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.

* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.

* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.

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