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View Harvest Day speakers' videos now

Three experts cover key gardening topics

Man in blue shirt standing in front of tree
Fred Hoffman talks about year-round gardening in a new Harvest Day 2021 video. (Screenshots from YouTube)

Harvest Day 2021 already is underway! The Sacramento County UCCE master gardeners' annual celebration is virtual again this year, on Aug. 7, but the three keynote speeches are already available for viewing on the master gardeners' YouTube channel .

-- "Farmer Fred" Hoffman, podcast host and lifetime master gardener, talks about "Gardening Year Round," focusing especially on growing cool-season vegetables that can be started from seed soon. Check out the nifty "damp chopstick" method of planting tiny carrot or radish seeds.

Man sitting among raised bed plants
Greg Gayton offers recommendations for building raised beds.

-- Greg Gayton, California Certified Nursery Professional from Green Acres Nursery & Supply, answers "Why Choose Raised Beds?" as well as offering the how. He has excellent recommendations for raised bed materials, size and spacing.

-- Master gardener Bill Krycia is "Jazzed About Citrus" and wants everyone to be. He explains rootstock suckers, site selection and winterizing, among other citrus-specific issues.

If you watch these videos now, you'll be all prepared for the live Q&A sessions to be aired on Harvest Day itself, Aug. 7. Here's the schedule:

8:30 - 9 a.m.  - Fred Hoffman

9:10 - 9:40 a.m. - Greg Gayton

Man in bright orange shirt holds bowl of citrus fruit
Bill Krycia explains some of the mysteries of citrus growing.

9:50 - 10:20 a.m. - Bill Krycia

Register for the live events and webinars at the Harvest Day page of the Sacramento County master gardeners' website. The page also has links to last year's videos.

The three webinars planned for this year are:

-- 10:30 - 11:10 a.m., "Unusual Edibles in the Central Valley," Quentyn Young, Master Gardener and Manager, Fair Oaks Boulevard Nursery.

-- 11:20 a.m.- noon, "Tips for Houseplant Selection and Care," Lori Ann Asmus, Master Gardener and Owner, The Emerald City Interior Landscaping.

-- 12-10 - 12:50 p.m., "Growing Bearded Irises in the Home Garden," Ruth Ostroff, Master Gardener, Sacramento Iris Society.

-- Kathy Morrison


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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