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Get started on cool-season veggies

Online workshop tackles 'Broccoli, Lettuce & Kale, Oh My!'

Seed starting tray and seed packets
Still summer outside, but on the vegetable-planting calendar,
it's time for lettuce and other greens. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

It’s time to think cool (and we don’t mean air conditioning).

During the heat of August while we’re still (hopefully) picking tomatoes, turn your attention to lettuce – plus other cool-season greens and winter vegetables.

Where to start – and how? Learn the basics during a free Zoom workshop at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 28.

Presented by the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Nevada County, this one-hour webinar will pay special attention to the challenges of cool-season gardening at higher elevations. But there will be plenty of tips and valuable information for gardeners in the Valley, too.

“Broccoli, Lettuce & Kale, Oh, My! Growing Cool-Season Vegetables in the Foothills” will discuss transitioning from summer to cool-season vegetables, planning, soil preparation, seed starting, planting and more. The master gardeners also will share secrets of extending summer veggies into late fall or winter and likewise stretching lettuce season deep into spring (and maybe even summer).

“It’s hot right now, and time for sitting in the shade and enjoying summer vegetables,” say the master gardeners in their workshop introduction. “And a great time for planning your cool season garden! Join us now to learn how to get broccoli, lettuce and kale from your garden in the winter and spring.

“What do you want to grow? We'll talk about cool-season garden planning and preparation, microclimates, season extenders and much more. Join us to learn how to keep your garden more fertile and productive almost year round.”

Anyone with an Internet connection is invited to Zoom in. No advance reservations are necessary.

For the link and more details: .


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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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