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Evening Update: Open Garden canceled

The Water-Efficient Landscape is a key feature of the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Note: This evening the UCCE master gardeners announced the cancellation of this Open Garden.

Master gardeners plan precautions for outdoor event

The March Open Garden is still scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, March 14, at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center.

The UCCE Sacramento County master gardeners plan to take extra hygiene precautions for this popular event, which is free and open to the public. Open Gardens are rain-or-shine events.

The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is the master gardeners' demonstration garden,  where home gardeners can soak up information on orchard practices, vegetable and herb gardening, growing berries and grapes, planning a water-efficient landscape and composting.

Mini-demonstrations are planned at 10 a.m. on these topics:

-- Container gardening, in the Water-Efficient Landscape area.
-- Debugging orchard irrigation, in the Orchard.
-- Propagating herbs, in the Herb garden.
A mini demonstration will be held on cutting down and
turning over cover crops. (This is the 2019 Vegetable
-- Cutting down and turning in cover crops, in the Vegetable Garden.

Ongoing activities will cover such topic as best tools for orchard care, edible flowers in the herb garden, testing soil pH for berries, vegetable garden pest management, pruning young grapevines, and composting with worms.

The event is due to run until noon.

The 2020 Gardening Guide and Calendar will be on sale for $10.

Bring gardening questions (and bagged samples of problem pests or plants if pertinent) to the "Ask a Master Gardener" table.

The Horticulture Center is at 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., in the park south of the Fair Oaks Library. Because of the changing health situations in California, be sure to check on the status of this (and actually any event) before leaving to attend. The Open Garden information site is
here . Or call (916) 875-6913.

Canceled events this weekend include the UC Davis Arboretum Plant Sale and High-Hand Nursery's Wings & Wine gathering.

The Shepard Garden & Art Center Spring Sale is still scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday. Check information on the event here .

-- Kathy Morrison


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Garden Checklist for week of June 16

Summer officially starts Thursday. The good news: No triple-digits – at least until next weekend.

* Warm weather brings rapid growth in the vegetable garden, with tomatoes and squash enjoying the heat. Deep-water, then feed with a balanced fertilizer. Bone meal or rock phosphate can spur the bloom cycle and help set fruit.

* Generally, tomatoes need deep watering two to three times a week, but don't let them dry out completely. That can encourage blossom-end rot.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, melons, radishes, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

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