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Turn autumn leaves into garden gold

Gorgeous gold leaves can have a second life as garden gold, also known as compost. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Master gardeners offer free composting classes

Got leaves? Make garden gold.

Think of all that fallen foliage as an autumn harvest of compost ingredients.

Brown leaves alone aren't enough to cook up nutrient-rich compost, but part of the overall mix. When started in November, compost will be ready for spring planting.

Want to learn how to turn your yard and kitchen waste into natural fertilizer? Take a composting class from local master gardeners.

* For gardeners in Yolo County, the UCCE Yolo County master gardeners will present a free composting workshop at 10:15 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Esparto Regional Library, 17065 Yolo Ave., Esparto. Details: http:

* Interested in worm composting? At 10 a.m. Saturdyam Nov. 17, the UCCE Yolo County master gardeners and EnviroWoodland present a free two-hour composting workshop that tackles both backyard and worm composting. It will be at the Woodland Community College garden, Building 400, 2300 E. Gibson Road, Woodland. Free worms will be available. Woodland residents who sign up in advance can take home a free worm bin, too. Details:

For more garden events and workshops checkout Sac Digs Gardening's expanded Garden Calendar . Got an event? Send it to us at .


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Garden Checklist for week of April 21

This week there’s plenty to keep gardeners busy. With no rain in the immediate forecast, remember to irrigate any new transplants.

* Weed, weed, weed! Get them before they flower and go to seed.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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