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Herbs, tomatoes and more are big attraction May 4


Anise hyssop is the 2019 Herb of the Year. At its May 4 Open House, Morningsun Herb Farm plans to give all moms a free hyssop plant as an early Mother's Day gift. (Photo: Courtesy Morningsun Herb Farm)
Morningsun Herb Farm hosts 24th annual Open House

Herbs rank among the most popular plants for beginning gardeners – and experienced gardeners, too. Their appeal is easy to understand. Herbs often need little room (and not much water) while adding flavor and fragrance to our world. And many herbs are very easy to grow.

See hundreds of examples at Morningsun Herb Farm, a destination nursery in Vacaville. Saturday, May 4, Morningsun hosts its
24th annual Open House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Besides Morningun’s beautiful demonstration gardens and amazing assortment of herb plants for sale, the Open House features demonstrations, specialty vendors and food. More than 20 vendors and garden groups will take part.

In addition to all those herbs, Morningsun offers a huge selection of perennials, succulents, summer vegetables and tomato transplants.

Radio host Farmer Fred Hoffman will be talking tomatoes during his 11:30 a.m. presentation, “Tomato Troubleshooting.” He’s one of seven guest speakers, starting at 10 a.m.

In honor of Mother’s Day, every mom gets a gift: An anise hyssop. That agastache is the 2019 herb of the year.

Morningsun is located at 6137 Pleasants Valley Road, Vacaville. Details including directions: www.morningsunherbfarm.com .

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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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