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Learn how to make your own garden gold

Zoom in for workshop on compost and mulch

compost bins
These are successful types of compost bins used at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center. Learn the ins and outs of composting during the Placer County master gardeners' Zoom class Saturday. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Garden like nature does and your plants will be healthier and happier. You’ll save money, too.

What’s nature’s secret? Compost and mulch.

Both involve turning what may be considered waste material – such as fallen leaves – into something your plants can really use: Organic fertilizer with added benefits.

Learn how via a free virtual seminar, hosted by the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Placer County.

“Composting and Mulch Zoom Workshop” will be held online at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 17.

“Learn the basics of backyard composting and how it can improve your soil,” say the master gardeners. “You will learn how to get started and keep your compost pile healthy. We will also discuss the benefits of using mulch to help keep your soil healthy and happy. “

Mulch in particular may be very important this summer. It helps maintain moisture in the soil (so you lose less water to evaporation) and keeps roots cooler. Mulch also feeds microorganisms in the soil, in turn benefiting plants.

No advance registration is required. The full Zoom link and password is available here:

Placer County master gardeners have a busy spring schedule of virtual workshops with upcoming seminars on propagation, pollinators, succulents and native plants.

For more details:


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Oct. 2

Plan to make the most of the mild weather in your garden.

* October is the best month to plant trees and shrubs.

* October also is the best time to plant perennials in our area. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to planting holes or beds, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioluses, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

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