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Pruning events and workshops jam January

Stephen Scanniello prunes a mature Sutter's Gold rose during his 2019 workshops at the Sacramento Historic Rose Garden. He'll return in January; tickets to attend are now available. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Help prune public gardens or just learn pruning techniques

Your spanking-new 2020 calendar is about to get a workout. January is packed with winter garden events, as gardeners turn their attention to the coming growing season.

First up, of course, are pruning demonstrations and prune-athons. We listed some Sacramento County and Roseville events
earlier in the blog ; the ones below are in addition to those.

-- 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 4, McKinley Rose Garden, 601 Alhambra Blvd., Sacramento. The Friends of East Sacramento members and other volunteers will be busy pruning this 1,200-bush rose garden. Open to all. Bring gloves and bypass pruners. Information:

-- 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 4, Natomas Rose Garden, 2921 Truxel Road, Sacramento. Located next to the South Natomas Public Library, this garden holds more than 500 rose bushes. Bring gloves and wear thorn-resistant clothes. Rain cancels. Reserve a spot via the garden's Facebook page here . Additional pruning dates, at the same time, are Jan. 11 and Jan. 25 .

-- 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 11, Maidu Center, 1550 Maidu Drive, Roseville. The Sierra Foothills Rose Society holds its annual (mostly indoor) winter rose care workshop and chili cookoff. You usually can find master rosarian Baldo Villegas showing off his super-fast rose pruning techniques. Public welcome. Questions:

-- 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 11, Sacramento Historic City Cemetery's heritage rose garden, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento. Stephen Scanniello, president of the Heritage Rose Society, returns to Sacramento for two rose pruning workshops. Scanniello is not only a rose expert but also endlessly entertaining, with stories of roses and rose gardens connected to celebrities. In the morning workshop, he will show how to prune climbing roses. The afternoon workshop will show techniques for pruning and maintaining mature bushes. Tickets are $10 per workshop, available here . Proceeds benefit the Heritage Rose Foundation and Sacramento Historic Rose Garden. More information: .

-- 10:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 11, fruit tree pruning workshop, Polestar Farm, 25491 County Road 21A, Esparto. Presented by the Yolo County master gardeners and the Friends of the Esparto Public Library, this hands-on workshop covers fruit tree pruning, common fruit tree pests and techniques for keeping fruit trees healthy. Rain moves the event to the library. Free. Information:

-- 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 18 , rose pruning workshop, Woodland Community College, 2300 East Gibson Road, Woodland. Yolo master gardeners Maryellen Mackenzie and Janet Branaman will teach dormant rose pruning techniques and rose care. Free. Information:

-- 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 18, rose and ornamental shrub pruning workshop, Davis Central Park gardens, Third and B streets, Davis. Rain moves the event to the Bicycling Museum. Techniques for rose and ornamental pruning, taught by UCCE master gardeners of Yolo County. Free.

That's a good start! We will have plenty more events to tell you about soon.

-- Kathy Morrison


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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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