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Saturday's the day: Celebrate gardening (virtually)

Harvest Day also marks the release of 2022 Gardening Guide and Calendar

Green and purple grapes
Gorgeous grapes grace the cover of the 2022 Gardening Guide
and Calendar, which goes on sale Saturday.

When the UCCE Sacramento County master gardeners decided last winter that the 2021 Harvest Day would be virtual, just as it was in 2020, it seemed like an overabundance of caution. But with the recent revival of mask mandates and other coronavirus protocols, Harvest Day fortunately can be celebrated safely this Saturday, from the comfort of our homes or gardens.

Get a jump on events by watching master gardener Teri VanAirsdale in the 5-minute 2021 Welcome video ; she covers the full schedule.

The three keynote speakers' presentations also are online already, on the Sac County master gardeners' YouTube channel. Plus, speakers Fred Hoffman, Greg Gayton and Bill Krycia will answer gardeners' questions during a live session online Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.

Then three webinars are scheduled, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., featuring these master gardeners:

* Quentyn Young explores growing new and unusual edibles.

* Lori Ann Asmus provides inspiration for greening the indoor environment with houseplants.

* Ruth Ostroff shares her know-how and enthusiasm for the hardy, drought-tolerant bearded iris.

To receive the link to participate in these online events, register for free here:

All of these online events will be recorded for viewing later, as well.

Saturday also marks the release of the 2022 Sacramento Gardening Guide and Calendar, a popular fundraiser each year for the master gardeners. It's still bargain-priced at $10, including sales tax. It can be ordered online here starting Saturday . (Postage is extra if you order it mailed.) Local retailers typically carry it, too, in the fall. And in-person master gardener events, including the Sept. 11 Open Garden, will have it for sale.

Cherries on a calendar page
Each month includes information on the featured fruit, plus
garden tips for the month, and a suggested less-common fruit
to grow.
The theme for this year is "Fruit: Something Old, Something New," and each calendar month features a beautiful fruit photograph. This is more than just a calendar, though: It's packed with garden advice and planting charts, plus information specific to growing fruit as common as strawberries and as exotic as cherimoya.

Master gardeners Pat Turner and Angela Parker filmed a short preview of the Gardening Guide; view it here . (Full disclosure: In my other identity as a master gardener, I helped with the preparation of this year's Gardening Guide. Fun!)


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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