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Master gardeners' 2020 calendar now available

Flowers and flowering plants are the theme

Harvest Day this past Saturday kicked off the sale of the Sacramento County master gardeners' 2020 Gardening Guide & Calendar, an invaluable resource for the region's gardeners.

A fundraiser for the UCCE master gardener program, the calendar always has terrific photographs and myriad planting tips. "Blossoms" is the 2020 theme, so each month features plants that are in full bloom at that time.

The large vertical-format calendar also has plenty of space for noting fertilization dates and planting. (I use mine to keep track of seed starting and watering schedules.)

Behind the months' pages are even more planting tips, including two pages on arranging flowers and a detailed chart of when to plant which bulbs. The master food preservers have contributed several recipes that use herbs and edible flowers. (Lemon sage wine mustard, anyone?)

Nectarine blossoms are featured in April.
The Gardening Guide & Calendar costs $10 and will be on sale at master gardener events through the rest of the year. It also can be ordered online here .

-- Kathy Morrison


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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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