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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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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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