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Learn how to 'prune like a pro'


Use bypass pruners for trimming roses,
small shrubs and perennials.
(Photo: Debbie Arrington)
Green Acres offers free workshops, covering perennials, shrubs, trees

Need help making the first cuts? Learn how to “Prune Like a Pro” at free workshops, hosted by
Green Acres Nursery & Supply .

At 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, professional horticulturists will share their secrets and techniques on how to prune perennials, shrubs and trees, from roses to evergreens. They’ll also cover methods used to prune hedges and topiaries, which need regular maintenance to look (and grow) their best.

These experts will demonstrate the methods used by professional landscapers and offer tips on tools, using pruning to train plant growth and ways to save time.

“Prune Like a Pro” workshops will be offered at all five Green Acres locations:

* 9220 E. Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove;

* 205 Serpa Way, Folsom;

* 5436 Crossings Drive, Rocklin;

*901 Galleria Blvd., Roseville; and

* 8501 Jackson Road, Sacramento.

This is part of Green Acres’ series of Saturday morning workshops. Next week’s topic: “Veggie Gardening 101.”

More details: www.idiggreenacres.com .

- Debbie Arrington




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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

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

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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