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A gift that keeps giving: Annual garden guide/calendars

Support your local master gardeners while sharing valuable tips

Placer calendar
The Placer County master gardeners' Gardening Guide and
Calendar is geared toward foothill gardening and weather
patterns. (Photo courtesy )

Show your love for the experts who help make us all better gardeners: Our local master gardeners!

At the same time, spread the joy of gardening – or become a more knowledgeable gardener yourself.

In honor of Giving Tuesday, support your county’s UC Cooperative Extension master gardener program while also picking up a perfect gift.

Two local programs have just the ticket for both donations and gift giving: Annual garden guides and calendars.

These publications are major fundraisers for the Placer County and Sacramento County master gardener programs. But with fewer live events during pandemic restrictions, the sale outlets for these publications are fewer, too.

Current interest in gardening continues to grow, and that’s made the 2021 editions much sought-after.

“Some of our vendors have already sold out,” reports Pauline Sakai of the Placer County master gardeners.

With the theme “Smart Choices for Gardening Success,” this is the 29th edition of the Placer master gardeners’ award-winning calendar and garden guide, geared towards foothill gardening and weather patterns.

Featuring planting, growing and harvesting tips, the 13-month calendar and guide includes in-depth articles for every season. Among the topics: Soil testing, planting bare-root berries and trees, how to choose the right tools for the job, seed saving, planting for small spaces and how to help bees.

Sacramento calendar
Sacramento's 2021 publication looks up -- at trees.
(Photo courtesy )
Meanwhile, Sacramento County focused its 2021 gardening guide and calendar on a favorite Sacramento topic: Trees!

Also priced at $10, the large vertical-format calendar features a beautiful photo (and growing information) of an appropriate tree each month.

It’s packed with gardening tips and appropriate reminders, geared to seasonal tasks. Planting charts and other useful information are also included. Get yours at or from the vendors listed on the website.


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For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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