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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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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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