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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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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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