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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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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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