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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 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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