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Learn about fruit trees, other winter garden tasks

Fruit trees, like this budding peach tree, need attention in winter so they
produce a good crop. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)
Two free classes offered in Davis this weekend
Got plans for the three-day weekend? (Oh, yeah, garden work.) But if you'd also like to pick up some useful gardening knowledge, or refresh what you already know, the Yolo County master gardeners offer two free classes on late winter gardening.

On Saturday, Feb. 15, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., fruit tree care will be the topic. If you want a good summer crop, care and preparation now will go a long way toward ensuring that. Two of the Yolo master gardeners will talk about pruning, irrigation, fertilizing, common fruit tree diseases, and pests (and how to control them).

The class will be held at Grace Garden, United Methodist Church, 1620 Anderson Road in Davis. There will be an optional walk in the orchard afterwards.

On Sunday the Yolo master gardeners will hold their monthly Gardening Forum, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Small Conference Room of the Mary L. Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St., Davis. Bring questions for the master gardeners, and also learn about winter project planning, landscape maintenance, irrigation and mulching, and what to plant now.

For information on Gardening Forums, go to . All the Yolo County master gardener events are at

-- Kathy Morrison


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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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