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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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For week of Dec. 10:

Take advantage of these dry but crisp conditions. It’s time to get out the rake!

* Rake leaves away from storm drains and keep gutters clear.

* Fallen leaves can be used for mulch and compost. Chop up large leaves with a couple of passes with a lawn mower.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Without their foliage, trees are easier to prune.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Make sure to take frost precautions with new transplants and sensitive plants. Mulch, water and cover tender plants in the late afternoon to retain warmth.

* Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Don’t water succulents before frost; cover instead. Use cloth sheets, not plastic. Make sure to remove coverings during the day.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eaves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Plant garlic (December's the last chance -- the ground is getting cold!) and onions for harvest in summer.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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