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Seize the day? How about 366 of them?

An invaluable calendar, and a bargain, to boot. (Photo:
Kathy Morrison)
Master gardener calendars are filled with expert advice

Next year is a leap year, so we get an extra day of gardening. But it's in February, so maybe it'll be an extra day of watching the rain and making gardening plans. (Why isn't Leap Day in April? or June?)

In any case, there are two great 2020 calendars available right now that are stuffed full of advice  from gardeners who know our climate and growing conditions. The calendars have been available for a few months, but this time of year is when folks really focus on the coming year. (And if you have your calendar already, they do make great gifts.)

The Sacramento County master gardeners' new Gardening Guide and Calendar has a theme of "Blossoms," with great photos of all kinds of blooming plants. It's sold for the bargain price of $10 (including tax),  with proceeds supporting the UCCE master gardener events such as Harvest Day.

The Placer County calendar is appropriate for Valley and
foothill gardeners. (Photo courtesy
"Gardening With a Purpose: Enrich Your Yard and Our Community" is the focus of the Placer County master gardeners calendar. Each month includes suggestions of what to plant, what's in season, timely reminders and irrigation tips, plus gorgeous photos and QR codes for additional information. It's also just $10.

You can find a list of local vendors who sell the Placer County Gardening Guide and Calendar at or order it online at the same website.

Both master gardener groups also sell their calendars at their staffed events, including farmers markets and festivals.

-- Kathy Morrison

The website address for the Placer master gardeners is now correct. Apologies for the earlier error!


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* 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 fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* 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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