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Be a better bug sleuth with free workshop

Sacramento's Bug Man, Baldo Villegas, kicks off Orangevale Grange series

Baldo Villegas holding pink roses
Baldo Villegas is a retired state entomologist and a rose expert, too.
(Photo courtesy Baldo Villegas)
Get more out of gardening (and get answers, too) during a summer series of educational workshops, hosted by the new Orangevale Farm and Garden Club.

Part of the Orangevale Grange, Orangevale’s newest garden club started recently as a Facebook group, which already has more than 300 members. At 9 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month, the club will host a one-hour workshop at the Grange,  5807 Walnut Ave. in Orangevale. Everyone is welcome to these in-person events. Admission is free.

Kicking off the summer series will be Sacramento’s Bug Man, Baldo Villegas. A retired state entomologist, Villegas also is a rose expert with more than 3,000 bushes in the ground at his Orangevale home.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, June 5, Villegas will discuss one of his favorite topics: “Identifying and Diagnosing Insect Problems in the Garden.” This workshop is designed for both novice and experienced gardeners.

Any gardener can be a better bug sleuth. Villegas will show how to determine what’s eating your plants and suggest ways to cut down on that destruction without pesticides.

Coming up are workshops on drip irrigation and soil building.

On July 3, Justin Eubank of ACE Hardware will present “ACEing Your Way through Drip Irrigation.” This workshop will come in handy for anyone considering converting their landscape to drip irrigation, an important water-saving tool – especially during drought. Drip irrigation puts water where plants need it most – at the roots.

On Aug. 7, environmental educator Julie Barbour will explain, “When Plants Harmonize with the Soil.” An expert in integrated pest management, Barbour will discuss how plants and soil work together. When that important relationship is healthy, so are the plants – and the soil – with fewer pest problems and more drought tolerance.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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