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Stuck indoors? Learn about houseplants

Master gardener Lori Ann Asmus offers tips in video

Woman in blue top holding up her hands
Lori Ann Asmus holds up her favorite tool for checking plant moisture: her finger.
(Screenshot from YouTube)

Even though the temperatures have improved, the air is smoky and the conditions rather depressing now for gardening. But thanks to the Sacramento County master gardeners, you can spend your gardening time learning how to brighten your indoor world with houseplants.

Lori Ann Asmus, who is a master gardener and interior landscaper, presented a terrific webinar on houseplants during Virtual Harvest Day earlier this month. It was taped for later viewing on YouTube, and I highly recommend it. (Full disclosure: I'm a rookie when it comes to houseplants, so most of her session was new to me.)

There's one caveat on the YouTube videos:  Instead of being broken up by topic, all of Harvest Day 2021 is on one big video -- 4.5 hours' worth. It's hard to search for an individual topic or webinar. But I know how to get you to the houseplant sequence:

Go to YouTube here:

Then click on "Show More" under the brief description and the Farmer Fred link. (Fred's good, too, but we want houseplants today.)

Lori Ann Asmus is the second-to-last webinar listed. Click on her time and you'll pop into moderator Julie Oliver's introduction of Asmus.

Asmus conducted the entire webinar from the UCCE office, but she covers a lot of ground and has examples. The session runs about half an hour. Have a pen and paper handy to take notes!

And let's all hope they get the fires under control soon and we have better outdoor gardening conditions.

-- Kathy Morrison


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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