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Learn how to tackle yellow starthistle

Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening
Yellow starthistle ( Centaurea solstitialis ) in bloom
has nasty
spikes.  At top, the seed dispersal stage.
(Photo courtesy UC Integrated
Pest Management)

I nvasive weed is topic of El Dorado County workshop

What’s the worst invasive plant? For many farmers as well as suburban gardeners, it’s yellow starthistle.

Learn how to conquer this nasty weed during a special presentation at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16. Presented by the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of El Dorado County, this free workshop will be held in the Hearing Room at Government Center Building C, 2850 Fairlane Court,

Master gardener Steve Savage will tell how this invasive weed has taken over large portions of California’s range land and urban landscape.

Learn about its origins, how it moves, why it is so difficult to control, how to overcome these difficulties, various control methods and how to design an effective control program.

Details and directions: or call 530-621-5512.


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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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