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Zoom in on 'Totally Tomatoes'

Placer County master gardeners offer free workshop on favorite crop

Tomatoes of many colors on a green plate
Dreaming of summer and a crop like this? Learn about growing tomatoes during a Zoom session
Saturday with the Placer County master gardeners. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

It may be only February, but Sacramento gardeners have one summer crop on their collective mind: Tomatoes!

What would you expect in the Big Tomato?

To get ready for the tomato season ahead, the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Placer County will host a special Zoom workshop: “Totally Tomatoes.”

Set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, this free online seminar will include something for every tomato grower, from newbie to seasoned veteran.

Now is the time to start tomato seeds indoors, so the young plants will be ready for outdoor transplanting in spring. Get valuable pointers about starting seed, variety selection and how to grow your best harvest ever.

No advance registration is necessary. Find everything you need including Zoom link and pass code at:
http://pcmg.ucanr.org/?calitem=495618&g=123640

On that webpage, you’ll also find links to these handy publications: UC Department of Agriculture and Natural Resource’s “Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden”; specific home-garden tomato tips for Placer and Nevada counties; and master gardener seed-saving tips (which go way beyond tomatoes).

Placer County master gardeners have a full schedule of winter-early spring workshops via Zoom. Upcoming subjects: “Planning Your Summer Vegetable Garden” (Feb. 27); “From Bambi to Thumper” (managing deer, rabbits and other vertebrate pests, March 13); and “Growing Citrus in the Foothills” (March 27).

For details and links: http://pcmg.ucanr.org/

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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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