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Many opportunities Saturday to explore and learn


It may not be shorts weather this weekend, but Soil Born Farms' American River Ranch still will be a lovely place
to stroll Saturday. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Fun gardening events around the region this weekend

Another sunny weekend is heading our way. If you haven't already made plans for Saturday, Feb. 8, you might want to check out these events:

-- Second Saturday Open Garden Day at the Sherwood Demonstration Garden, 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville, 9 a.m. to noon. The garden, run by the El Dorado County master gardeners, will be open for roaming. Discover the beauty of the 16 individual gardens. Docents will be available to answer questions. Free, but parking at the site (part of the Folsom Lake College El Dorado Center) is $2, exact change required.

-- Rose Pruning Demonstration. It's still pruning season, especially for foothill gardeners. If you visit the Sherwood Demonstration Garden in the morning, stick around from 1 to 4 p.m. for the free demonstration by Master Gardener Eve Keener. (You'll already have paid for parking, after all.) For more information on the El Dorado County master gardener offerings, go to
mgeldorado.ucanr.edu .

-- Family Nature Walk at Soil Born Farms, 2140 Chase Drive,  Rancho Cordova. Starting at 9 a.m. until about 11 a.m., naturalist Cliff Hawley will lead a walking tour of the American River Ranch, exploring plants, animals and relationships among them that make up the ranch environment. Family friendly, but recommended for kids ages 5 and older. $10 tickets; proceeds support the American River Ranch Restoration and Development Fund. Information and tickets here . Soil Born also will be open for Saturday at the Farm, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with cooking demonstrations, fresh produce for sale, live music and kids Valentine's Day activities, among other offerings. www.soilborn.org

-- Grape Pruning Workshop, at Woodland Community College, 2300 E. Gibson Road, Building 400, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., offered free by the Yolo County master gardeners. Doug Mackenzie will present strategies for developing vines from recently purchased plants to fully developed vines, and for pruning fully mature vines. Participants will be able to experience pruning vines at the WCC demonstration garden after the lecture. Bring clippers and/or mini-loppers. Information here .

-- Backyard Chickens Workshop, at the Esparto Regional Library,  17065 Yolo Ave., Esparto, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The free workshop, also a presentation of the Yolo County master gardeners, will cover the basics of keeping chickens. All the offerings by the UCCE master gardeners of Yolo County can be viewed at http://yolomg.ucanr.edu/

And see our posts from earlier this week on two other Saturday events: the Open Garden at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center and the Weavers and Spinners show at the Shepard Garden & Arts Center.

-- 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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