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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 March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

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

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

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

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

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

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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