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This Earth Day party in Placer salutes monarch butterflies

The monarch butterfly is the focus of an Earth Day celebration in Auburn
this Saturday. (Photo courtesy UCCE)

I n El Dorado County, master gardeners host spring plant sale

How are you helping your planet?
Monday is Earth Day, an annual celebration held April 22 each year since 1970. This year’s theme: Protect Our Species.
Bees and butterflies rank high on the list of local species that could use some protection as well as TLC.  One of the best ways to protect our native species is to invite them into our gardens and make them feel at home -- well-fed, nurtured and protected.
On Saturday, one endangered butterfly in particular takes the spotlight at  “Earth Day: Celebration of the Monarchs.” To be held in downtown Auburn at the Armed Forces Pavilion and Community Garden, this family event focuses on this beloved butterfly and its annual migration to California. Learn all about the monarchs from the UCCE Placer County master gardeners, who will offer tips on how to help these butterflies. (Hint: They love milkweed!)
Planting California natives and flowering plants (including vegetables and fruit trees) can make bees happy and go a long way in creating a welcoming habitat.
Find a great selection at the El Dorado County Master Gardeners’ Spring Plant Sale, from 8 a.m. 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20. The sale will be held at the Sherwood Demonstration Garden, behind Folsom Lake College's El Dorado Center, 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville. Admission is free; parking is $2 in the college lot.  While you’re there, check out the beautiful garden and the ways master gardeners attract more beneficial insects.
Milkweed is the monarch butterfly's key food source.
(Photo courtesy Cheryl Rose)
Find a wide variety of fruit trees, California natives, ornamental grasses, vegetables, succulents, shrubs and perennials. Which ones? The sale plant list available here:
Cash or checks only; no credit cards. Details:
and Kathy Morrison


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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