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The Garden Calendar is filling up with spring events

The first UC Davis Arboretum plant sale of the spring is a highlight of the March garden calendar. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

March bringing in a whirlwind of activities

Spring officially is still more than three weeks away, but the
calendar already is filling up with gardening events and activities around the Sacramento region.

Saturday, March 9, alone has four major events:

* Open Garden at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center: 9 a.m. to noon. Includes mini talks by the UCCE master gardeners on cane and spur pruning of grapes for arbors, making houses for mason bees, herbal gifts from the garden, and selecting and planting woody ornamentals. Bring your garden questions, too. 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks.

* Sherwood Demonstration Garden: 9 a.m. to noon . At Second Saturday Open Garden t his month, the topics will be straw bale gardening, spring and summer crops, mulch, compost and fertilizer, and a pruning demonstration in the orchard.  $2 parking charged by Folsom Lake College El Dorado Center seven days a week. Exact change required. 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville.

* UC Davis Arboretum Member Appreciation Plant Sale : 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Arboretum's 1-acre Teaching Nursery holds its first sale of the season. Before 11 a.m., open to members only. Public welcome from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Plants include Arboretum All Stars, California natives, trees, low-water shrubs and more. Refreshments, live music, children's activities. Membership can be purchased at the door. Garrod Drive, across from the UCDavis Vet School.

* Green Acres Elk Grove: Dig Into Spring Ideas Fair : 9 a.m. to 6 p. m. Free garden talks, plus exhibits of new plants and products, giveaways, special buys, and other activities. Check for the workshop schedule. 9220 E. Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove. 916-714-5600.

More events are coming in daily, so be sure to check back often.

-- Kathy Morrison


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For week of Dec. 3:

Make the most of gaps between raindrops. This is a busy month!

* Windy conditions brought down a lot of leaves. Make sure to rake them away from storm drains.

* Use those leaves as mulch around frost-tender shrubs and new transplants.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they're dormant.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Plant one last round of spring bulbs including daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, anemones and scillas. Get those tulips out of the refrigerator and into the ground.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers such as California poppies.

* Plant such spring bloomers as sweet pea, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Late fall is the best time to plant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from fall and winter rains.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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