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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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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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