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Get help planning your summer garden

El Dorado County master gardeners offer free online class

Various seed packets
Time to break out the summer seeds and plan the
2021 summer garden. The UCCE master gardeners
have a class for that. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

It’s only January, but it’s already time to start planning for summer planting. It’s not too late to plant for spring, too.

Not sure where to start? Take a free online class from the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of El Dorado County. Thanks to the internet, you can take the course wherever you are (as long as you have wifi).

Set for 9 a.m. Jan. 30, “Spring and Summer Vegetables” will cover the basics of warm-season gardening with special attention to the needs of Foothill gardeners.

“Master Gardener Zack Dowell will discuss garden plant selection, planting times, site selection, soil preparation, proper seed planting techniques, and pest management,” according to the course description.

Registration is now open for the 90-minute class. Sign up now to make sure you get your slot.

While in-person workshops are still restricted due to COVID concerns, El Dorado County master gardeners will host a full schedule of online gardening classes. Other upcoming courses include: rose pruning (Feb. 10), fruit tree grafting (Feb. 13), fire-wise landscaping (Feb. 27) and vegetable gardening for small backyards (March 10).

These free courses are open to everyone, regardless of which county they reside.

Details and registration: Links are sent out with the registration confirmation email.

- Debbie Arrington


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Feb. 5

Make the most of sunny days and get winter tasks done:

* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray during foggy weather or when rain is forecast.

* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

* Finish pruning roses and deciduous trees.

* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.

* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.

* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.

* Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.

* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.

* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.

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