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Pruning, pruning, pruning at Horticulture Center workshop

Pruning grapevines can be intimidating, but the master gardeners are ready to offer guidance. This is part of the vineyard at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Master gardeners offer tips for trees, grapevines, roses

Unsure how to proceed with pruning the pear tree? Or the grapevine? Or those rose bushes?

The Sacramento County master gardeners are ready to rescue the reluctant pruner. From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 18, they will present free consecutive pruning workshops at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center:

-- 9:15 to 10 a.m., "Pruning Dormant and Overgrown Fruit Trees," in the orchard area.

-- 10:15 to 11 a.m., "Pruning Grapes," in the vineyard. Cane and spur pruning as well as double pruning will be demonstrated.

-- 11:15 a.m. to noon, "Pruning Roses," along the fence between the vineyard and the WEL gardens.

Master gardeners also will be working in other areas of the Horticulture Center during the morning, ready to answer questions.

Bring orchard questions to the Horticulture Center on Saturday.
In the herb garden, the focus will be on planning. The vegetable garden experts will be ready to talk cool-season crops. In the WEL (Water-Efficient Landscape), the master gardeners will have tool tips. Pruning tips for blueberries and cane berries will be available in the berry area. Orchard crew members will have information on citrus harvesting and frost protection, as well as cutting scions for grafting. The compost experts will show how to build and turn the compost pile.

The Ask the Master Gardeners table will be staffed, and the UCCE Master Food Preservers also will have an information table. And if you meant to purchase a 2020 Gardening Guide and Calendar but never got around to it, you still can do so during the event; price is $10.

The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is at 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., south of the Fair Oaks Library off Madison Boulevard, Fair Oaks.

For more information on the UCCE Master Gardeners or the Horticulture Center, visit


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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