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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 Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

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