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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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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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