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Make a difference for pollinators, one garden at a time

A painted lady butterfly finds happiness on a lacy phacelia, which is a California native plant. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)
Free workshop in Davis on creating pollinator habitats

How many bees, birds and butterflies visit your garden every year? It's not hard to increase those numbers and benefit the natural community of your neighborhood at the same time.

The UCCE master gardeners of Yolo County will present a free public class on pollinators
9:30 to 10:30 a.m. this Saturday, Feb. 29, at the Central Park Gardens, corner of Third and B streets in Davis.

Participants can learn about the pollinators they are likely to see in landscapes and get some tips on how to create a habitat to support them. Information on native bees, hummingbirds and butterflies will be included, as well as plants and garden features that help them thrive. (Did you know bees need water sources, too? But big fountains don't work for them -- shallow ones with a resting place are better.)

The Yolo master gardeners this weekend are busy as, well, you can guess. Also on Saturday, Feb. 29,  from 11 a.m. to noon, again at the Central Park Gardens, they will present "Early Start on Summer Vegetables." Get tips on planning a summer vegetable garden, methods of starting seeds, caring for seedlings, and identifying common pests and the least toxic solutions to them.

Finally, four of the master gardeners will offer a class on "Make Your Soil Come Alive," which focuses on improving the health of your soil by working with natural processes. This workshop will include a discussion of the web of life that is in healthy soil and will look at the use of compost, amendments, mulches and healthy fertilizers. It runs from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Blanchard Room of the Stephens Davis Library, 315 E. 14th St., Davis.

Information on all the Yolo master gardener offerings can be found at .

And just as a reminder, this Saturday also is Camellia Day at the historic Murer House in Folsom. Our earlier post on this annual event can be found here .

-- Kathy Morrison


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Garden Checklist for week of April 14

It's still not warm enough to transplant tomatoes directly in the ground, but we’re getting there.

* 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 needs nutrients. Fertilize 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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