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Green Acres goes to the (virtual) dogs

'Dog Days of Summer' returns as online event

Large German shepherd on a lawn
Rambo knows how to stay cool during the Dog Days of
Summer. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)

It’s time to celebrate the dog days of summer in a uniquely Sacramento kind of way.

This week, Green Acres Nursery & Supply salutes hot weather gardening and our best canine friends during its annual “Dog Days of Summer,” Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 7-9.

This year’s celebration will be a virtual garden party with online activities and presentations plus special offers and prizes. (Follow Green Acres at @idiggreenacres to join the fun.)

Among the highlights will be “Cool Combos,” a live streaming event on Facebook and Instagram at 11 a.m. Friday. Participants will learn how to create beautiful, eye-catching container gardeners while also enjoying music and recipes for a cool summer get-together.

Saturday will feature a new addition to Green Acres’ “Garden Talk” series on YouTube. The theme is timely and practical: “What to Do in your Garden in August.”

Of course, dogs will have their turn in the spotlight, too – after all, it’s Dog Days! Green Acres is saluting “Canine Crusaders” with a nod to local pet organizations and ways people can help. See some of these organizations here: .

Coinciding with some of the Northern Hemisphere’s hottest weather of the year, Dog Days are an ancient tradition and get their name from the position of Sirius – the Dog Star – in the sky. Sirius is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major, the “Greater Dog.” The Romans believed Sirius gave off warmth as well as brightness, causing the summer to heat up. (Actually, it’s the Earth’s tilt towards the sun. During summer, the sun’s rays hit Northern Hemisphere at a more direct angle for more hours, creating longer and hotter days.)

In Roman lore, Dog Days encompass the 20 days before and after Sirius’ alignment with the sun. This year, that’s July 3 to Aug. 11, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

What plants can take the heat of Dog Days in Sacramento? Find out this week with the help of Green Acres’ experts.

For more details and links: .


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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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