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Open Garden Saturday at Fair Oaks Horticulture Center

This time last year, the cool-weather vegetable garden at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center was well established. Expect there to be plenty to look at (and ask about) at the Open Garden this weekend. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)
Master gardeners will be on hand with information and advice

Ready to dive into spring gardening preparations? Pack up your questions and head to the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center on Saturday, Feb. 8. The Sacramento County master gardeners will be out in force for Open Garden from 9 a.m. to noon, rain or shine (or cold). The event and all that expert advice is free.

Open Garden is an informal event, and visitors are encouraged to roam around and view the activities. Each area of the Horticulture Center will be staffed, and master gardeners will answer questions while also offering demonstrations.

At 10 a.m., mini presentations will be offered in these areas:

Herb garden: Preparation for planting
Orchard: Late fruit-tree pruning
Vegetable garden: Growing and caring for strawberries
Vineyard: Cane and spur dormant pruning
Water-Efficient Landscape (WEL): The right tools for the jobs

Master gardeners are happy to show off their compost bins at the Hort Center.
The FOHC also includes areas devoted to cane and bush berries, citrus, composting, native plants and perennials. Ongoing discussions will include creating and harvesting compost, growing cool-season vegetables, scion grafting, citrus fertilizing, and methods to combat peach leaf curl and brown rot disease.

The master gardeners also will be prepared to tackle plant problems and insect identification. Bring a good sample from the problem plant, or the insect in question, in a sealed plastic bag to the Ask the Master Gardener table at Open Garden.

The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is at 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks, south of the Fair Oaks Library. For information on the UCCE Sacramento County master gardener program, and to view UCCE resources, go to .

-- Kathy Morrison


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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