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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: .


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

* 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 help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

* 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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