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Take a break from the heat with an online class or video

Resources to view during those too-hot-to-garden times

Bee on lavender blossom
Pollinators are the subject of an upcoming webinar from the Placer County master gardeners. (Photo:
Kathy Morrison)

Around here, mornings in spring are made for gardening. But if — when! — the weather heats up, ome inside and spend some time online with the many resources available from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, including the UC Cooperative Extension.

Check out these online events and webinars:

-- Principles of Propagation Zoom Workshop, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 8, presented by the Placer County master gardeners.  As they note: "Propagation is the term for the multiplication of plants, either by natural means or by the actions of the nurseryman or gardener. This introductory workshop will show you some of the many ways you can propagate plants." Click here for the Zoom  link and password .

-- Heat Illness Prevention and Environmental Hazards in Your Garden, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 12. This timely virtual presentation is from the El Dorado County master gardeners. "Prevention is key to avoiding heat related illnesses and potential injuries and illnesses associated with environmental hazards, such as rattlesnakes, poisonous plants, skin cancer, insect bites, etc.  Join Master Gardener Cathie Mankins to learn tips on preventing illnesses and injuries in your garden." Registration is free but required .

-- Springtime Household Pests, 1 p.m. Thursday, May 20. This 1-hour webinar is part of a new monthly series from the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program.  "This webinar will cover identification and management of pests encountered in the home during springtime including carpet beetles, fleas, and fungus gnats associated with houseplants." The present is Dr. Andrew Sutherland, Area Urban IPM Advisor, San Francisco Bay Area. Free, but registration required here . The June 17 webinar will be "IM for Rodents." For more on the IPM series, visit this page .

-- Plant It and They Will Come: Planning for Pollinators Zoom Workshop, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 22, also by the Placer County master gardeners. "Learn how to attract and support bees, butterflies and other pollinators by choosing a palette of plants that provide a living landscape which offers nourishment and nesting places for these creatures that enliven our gardens, as well as provide pollination services. It’s a win-win for humans and pollinators!" Go here for the Zoom link and password .

Several view-anytime videos are linked from the Sacramento County master gardeners video library . Here are a few that are relevant right now:

"Better Pollination In The Home Vegetable Garden," from the Honey Bee Haven at UC Davis.

"Thinning Fruit on Your Fruit Trees," by the Sacramento County master gardeners.

"Aphid-eating Insects in Action!" The focus is on beneficial insects that devour (and I mean devour, wow!) bad bugs, from UC IPM.


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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