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Mountain Mandarin Festival will go on

The Mountain Mandarin Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary. (Photo courtesy Mountain Mandarin Festival.)

Silver lining to smoky weekend, popular citrus event marks 25th anniversary

Mandarins are ready, so this silver anniversary will go on.

Despite reports to the contrary, the 25th annual Mountain Mandarin Festival will be held as planned this weekend, Nov. 16-18, at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High St., Auburn.

Wildfire smoke canceled several other local events, but air quality is expected to improve Saturday and Sunday, event organizers said. The festival holds some activities indoors.

With cooking contests and food galore, the Mountain Mandarin Festival celebrates the arrival of this local citrus crop. Dozens of local growers will be on hand to offer their fruit as well as mandarin-related products such as sauces, marmalade and baked goods.

The festival also is a major event for the Placer County master gardeners. They staff a booth all three days of the show, offering advice on how to grow citrus and much more. This festival, they’ll also give away free seeds.

At the festival, the master gardeners will offer their popular and very useful 2019 Calendar and Gardening Guide ($10) written specifically with foothill gardeners in mind.

Admission for today’s 11 a.m.-5 p.m. preview day, Nov. 16, is $4 for everyone. Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, with $8 general admission, $5 seniors. Children age 12 and under admitted free. Parking is $6.


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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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