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Learn Baldo's rose secrets at workshop

Master rosarian Baldo Villegas shows off one of his winning roses,
Candy Land. He'll offer his tips on quick pruning and rose care during
the Sierra Foothills Rose Society winter workshop.
(Photo courtesy Baldo Villegas)

See how to prune a big bush in three minutes or less

Want to learn how to prune a rose in three minutes or less? Here’s your chance – while staying warm and dry.

On Saturday, Jan. 11, the Sierra Foothills Rose Society hosts its annual winter rose care workshop. Unlike most January pruning workshops, this free event will be held indoors at Maidu Community Center, 1550 Maidu Drive, Roseville.

Come for as much or as little of this half-day seminar as you like. It’s a great refresher for experienced gardeners as well as a valuable introduction to new rose growers. Registration and refreshments start the morning at 8:30 a.m. with the program under way at 9 a.m.

Renowned master rosarian Baldo Villegas, who grows roses by the thousands, will demonstrate his time-saving techniques including his three-minute method. From 9 to 10:45 a.m., he’ll be assisted by other club members as they show how to prune all kinds of roses and answer questions.

At 10:45 a.m., the workshop will cover how to use roses in the landscape, including bushes for small spaces and companion planting. At 11:45 a.m., Villegas – a retired state entomologist – will lead a Q&A on controlling pests and disease.

The club wraps up its rose workshop with a chili cook-off at 12:30 p.m. Participants are welcome to stay for lunch.

“When you leave, you will confidently prune your roses,” promise the organizers. Free pruner sharpening will be offered, too.

Details: or email Charlotte Owendyk at .


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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