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This pruning class offers side benefit: Private sale

Nursery manager Taylor Lewis will lead the winter pruning class. (Photo
courtesy UC Davis Arboretum)

Learn and shop at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery

December is among the best months to prune many trees and shrubs, but how?

Learn from experts -- then take some new plants home -- during the December "Learn & Shop" class offered by the UC Davis Arboretum.

Set for 10 a.m Tuesday, Dec. 11, "Winter Pruning Tips and Techniques" will cover the basics plus a lot more. Nursery manager Taylor Lewis will share his pointers on how to shape, train and maintain trees, shrubs and perennials including many California natives.

He'll also answer gardening questions and offer suggestions on plant selection. As manager of the arboretum's huge nursery, he's personally familiar with growing thousands of different plant varieties.

After a 90-minute exclusive demonstration in the Arboretum Teaching Nursery and its gardens, the class gets a chance to shop the nursery in one last private sale before season's end. It's a great way to pick up some gifts for gardening friends, too.

Register in advance; seating is limited. Class cost including a reserved parking space in front of the nursery is $28 general; $22 for Friends of the Arboretum. Class only is $18 general, $12 Friends. Parking ($9) also is available in nearby campus visitor lots.


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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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