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Mark your calendar for new year's first gardening events

Want to watch a master rose pruner at work? The Historic City Cemetery's rose garden will be the site of two Jan. 12 workshops by Stephen Scanniello, known as the "rock star of roses." He's also very entertaining. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Pruning workshops coming soon

Have you started filling in your 2019 calendar yet? (If you don't have one yet, the master gardeners of Sacramento and Placer counties have excellent gardening calendars, which Debbie wrote about
here .)

Today's a busy day for so many of us, but the new year will be here quickly. Some excellent pruning events, for example, are scheduled in January, including:

Saturday, Jan. 5
Annual McKinley Park Prune-athon: 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers prune the dozens of roses in McKinley Park. Open to all. Bring gloves and bypass pruners. Information email:

Saturday, Jan. 12
Rose Pruning at the Cemetery: 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Rose expert Stephen Scanniello returns to Sacramento's Historic Rose Garden to present two workshops. His running narration as he works on roses in the Historic City Cemetery just may be the best (and most entertaining) one-day education on pruning you can find. $10 donation. He also will speak at the Mount Diablo Rose Society on Jan. 9 and the Sacramento Rose Society on Jan. 10. 1000 Broadway, Sacramento.

Saturday, Jan. 12
Sierra Foothills Rose Society Winter Rose Care Workshop:  8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (rain or shine). This comprehensive (mostly indoor) free workshop covers the basics of rose care and much more. Watch master rosarian Baldo Villegas prune a rose bush in under three minutes!  Learns the secrets to more rose blooms with less work. The workshop wraps up with a chili cookoff. Public is welcome. Questions? Call Kay Jelten, 916-799- 6005. Maidu Community Center, 1550 Maidu Drive, Roseville.

Saturday, Jan. 19
Open Garden, Featuring Winter Pruning: 9 a.m. to noon.  Free. Sacramento County m aster gardeners will demonstrate winter pruning of deciduous fruit trees, blueberries, cane berries, grape vines and landscape trees. Visitors also can learn how herbs enhance landscapes and how to garden in a small yard. Bring gardening questions to the Ask the Master Gardener table. Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks. Information:

For other events during the first months of 2019, see our Garden Calendar here. Check back soon; we'll update it as more events are scheduled.

Happy holidays!

-- 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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