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Sacramento County master gardeners' tips debut on YouTube

Andi MacDonald
Master gardener Andi MacDonald shows how to grow veggies in containers in one of the new videos filmed by the UCCE master gardeners for Virtual Harvest Day.
(Screenshot from YouTube)

Videos filmed for Harvest Day now available for viewing

Gardeners don't have to wait for (Virtual) Harvest Day to view all the helpful new videos filmed by the UCCE Sacramento County master gardeners.

The topics range all over the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, from the compost area to the Water Efficient Landscape, from the vegetable garden to the orchard.

For my money, the most immediately useful video features master gardener Bill Black showing how to clean and sharpen pruning shears . I have several pairs that need this help. Also, Dan Vierria explains how soil solarization can eliminate soilborne pests from a planting bed, a method that works beautifully with our summer heat.

"What's Wrong With My Tomatoes?" with Joeana Carpenter should be required viewing for any and all new vegetable gardeners; she focuses on environmental (aka abiotic) factors.  And Andi MacDonald offers a concise guide to growing veggies year round in containers .

Several videos focus on specific pruning chores: woody sages, rosemary, ornamental grasses, and summer pruning of fruit trees. There are also tips on setting up a compost bin, putting netting over blueberries, growing herbs in containers and identifying pests on grapevines. And plenty more.

Videos are coming from the two Harvest Day speakers, Karrie Reid and Ed Laivo. On Harvest Day itself, Saturday, Aug. 1, live Q&As will be shown with the two speakers and with a panel of UCCE master gardeners. Send questions in to

For more on plans for the 2020 Virtual Harvest Day, go to


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* 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.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* 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. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* 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.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

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