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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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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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