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Jump into spring at this free event

Learn how to grow 'vibrant, tasty, and healthy plants' at Soil Born Farms on Saturday. The workshops are free. (Photos:
Kathy Morrison)

Soil Born hosts 'Spring Gardening Clinic'

We may have our first rain in weeks on Saturday, but that won’t dampen the enthusiasm at Soil Born Farm’s American River Ranch.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 7, Soil Born Farms hosts its free “Spring Gardening Clinic” with classes, walks, talks and tours.

“Learn how to grow vibrant, tasty, and healthy plants from Soil Born Farm’s knowledgeable staff and community educators,” say the organizers. “This is a rain-or-shine event. Registration will occur at the event ONLY and be on a first-come, first-served basis.”

The class schedule includes:

9:30 a.m.: “Spring Gardening for Beginners” with Shawn Harrison, Soil Born Farms

9:30 a.m.: “Building Soil Fertility” with Mark Van Horn, UC Davis Student Farm director emeritus

10:45 a.m.: “Managing Pests Naturally” with Mary Louise Flint, Ph.D.

11 a.m.: “Growing Succulents” with Pamela Marentis, The Succulent Marketplace

Noon: “Introduction to Urban Backyard Beekeeping” with Rachel Morrison, The Beecharmers

12:15 p.m.: “Gardening with Kids” with Lacey Carlson, Soil Born Farms
Soil Born will have plenty of experts on growing great food, including
preparing the soil and managing pests naturally.

The free tours include:

10:30 a.m.: Farm Tour with Tyler Stowers, Soil Born Farms

11:30 a.m.: Pollinators and Native Plants Walk and Talk with naturalist Cliff Hawley

12:15 p.m.: Explore Volunteer Opportunities Walk and Talk with Adriana Jones, Soil Born Farms

In addition, at Soil Born’s farmstand, fruit trees will be offered for sale including apple, apricot, peach, pluot, plum, nectarine, pear, fig, persimmon and pomegranate. Prices range from $20 to $45. Learn how to care for those trees with free demonstrations at 11:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.

Also on tap Saturday at Soil Born’s American River Ranch are two ticketed events: a family nature walk at 9 a.m. ($10) and a beekeeping class at 10:30 a.m. ($25). Register in advance at .

Soil Born’s American River Ranch is located at 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova.

Details: .

Reminder: Also Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. is the 8th annual Green Acres' Dig Into Spring Ideas Fair, held only at the Folsom store. See our earlier post on that event here.


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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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