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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 Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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