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Master gardeners host fall Open Garden

The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center will be buzzing Saturday with demonstrations and mini-workshops. It's also a pretty place just to stroll around. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Learn how to make raisins, plant for cool season ahead

It's time to dig into fall. Who better to inspire an intelligent approach to cool-season gardening than the UC Cooperative Extension master gardeners?

Join dozens of Sacramento County master gardeners on Saturday morning, Sept. 14, during Open Garden at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center.

During this free event, the master gardeners open the gates to their little paradise in Fair Oaks Park to demonstrate how they do what they do: growing delicious vegetables and fruit, composting, and developing water-wise landscaping.

Demonstrations start at 9 a.m. and run through noon. Information tables provide expert advice on any Sacramento-area garden issue, including what to plant now and pest identification.

Get ideas for fall planting in the Water Efficient
Landscape Garden.
At 10 a.m., the master gardeners will host mini-workshops on several autumn topics including:
* Fall planting and water-wise plant selections, in the Water Efficient Landscape Garden.
* Propagating herbs, in the Herb Project Area.
* How to grow a raisin, in the Hort Center vineyard.

Ongoing throughout the morning will be demonstrations on the benefits of mulch; pruning cane berries and blueberries; preparing the garden for cool-season vegetables; and compost pointers.


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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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