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Put your garden on a 'water budget'

Sign up for free online workshop: 'How Much Water Does Your Landscape Really Need?'


Yellow flowers and lots of colorful bushes
A garden on a water budget can be full of color and textures: This is the Water
Efficient Landscape at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)




Is your landscape ready to go on a budget?

Much of your garden’s ongoing expense: Water. And that’s also the type of budget your landscape needs.

“You and your family likely have a household budget, and so does your landscape – a Water Budget,” says the Regional Water Authority, the umbrella organization for Sacramento-area water providers.

But first, you need to know your landscape’s water use and plant needs. Learn how during an upcoming online webinar, “How Much Water Does Your Landscape Really Need?” Registration is now open for this free workshop, set for noon March 25.

“Explore ways to reduce the amount of water used in your landscape based on the types of plants and watering methods you select,” say the workshop organizers.

Although we’re getting rain this week, Sacramento’s long-range forecast looks pretty dry. That will make this informative session extra useful to anyone looking for ways to be smarter about water use. During Sacramento’s warmer months, most residential water use is outdoors.

Presented by the RWA and hosted by the City of Roseville, this one-hour lunchtime workshop will be led by local water-efficient landscape experts Cheryl Buckwalter, Soleil Tranquilli and Marcia Scott.

Among the aspects they’ll tackle:

* How to determine how much water you currently use to irrigate your landscape.

* What a Water Budget is and how to create one.

* How to use resources to help you determine the actual water needs of your plants.

* How to plan your “hydrozones” so plants with the same water needs are grouped together.

Once you learn those how-to’s, you’ll be ready to help your landscape live more beautifully – even on budget.

Register at:
bit.ly/HowMuchH2o

Learn more at https://bewatersmart.info/ .



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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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