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Learn how to put clippings and leaves to work in the garden

Composting seminar participants will have the change to purchase a GeoBin
at a discounted price. (Photo courtesy GeoBin)

Composting classes Saturday for Sacramento city residents

City of Sacramento residents, don't feed The Claw so much of your yard waste: Put the leaves and twigs and spent plants to work in your garden by turning it into rich homemade compost. It's called "garden gold" for a good reason. Even better: Kitchen waste, such as coffee grounds and onion skins, can go in there, too.

The city is offering its free "Backyard Composting Seminar" this Saturday, March 7. Two sessions are planned: 8-9 a.m. and 9-10 a.m., at Sojourner Truth Community Garden, 7365 Gloria Drive, Sacramento.

The composting workshops are presented by the City of Sacramento Recycling & Solid Waste, along with the Community Garden Program,
Worm Fancy and ReSoil Sacramento .

Pre-registration is not required but RSVPs help organizers plan for size of the group. Click "Going" at the "Backyard Composting Seminar" listing at . Participants will have the opportunity to purchase a GeoBin for the discounted price of $15 (one per household) after attending the seminar; must be city residents. These easy-to-use bins are favorites of UCCE master gardeners.

Free coffee will be available from Starbucks.

Additional city composting seminars will be offered this spring on April 4, May 6, 9 and 20. See the full list of places and times here .

-- Kathy Morrison


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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