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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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Garden Checklist for week of April 21

This week there’s plenty to keep gardeners busy. With no rain in the immediate forecast, remember to irrigate any new transplants.

* Weed, weed, weed! Get them before they flower and go to seed.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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