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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 April 7

The warm wave coming this week will shift weeds into overdrive. Get to work!

* Weed, weed, weed! Whack them before they flower.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash. Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias. Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom. April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings.

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