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Get gardening advice for foothills at Auburn show

Fall is a good time to snap up a 2019 gardening calendar and guide. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Placer County master gardeners offer local expertise, calendar/gardening guide

Foothill gardeners face added challenges besides the usual weeds or pests. Higher elevations bring colder temperatures and threat of snow. For many homes, there's also a greater threat of wildfire.
Soils can be problematic, as can deer and other wildlife. Where can a foothill gardener get advice from experts who truly understand their situations?

Placer County master gardeners will be out in force Friday through Sunday at the Auburn Home and Garden Show. At their booth in Landscapers Meadow, these certified local experts will tackle all sorts of garden questions as well as share tips specifically for the Sierra foothills.

"We will also be giving away 200 seed packets each of the three days of the show," said master gardener Kelly Warman.

Bring photos or samples (in ziplocked plastic bags) for identification or consultation.
Also at the show, the Placer County master gardeners will debut "A Garden Sampler: 13 Months of Inspiration," their 2019 calendar and garden guide, packed with tips for foothill gardeners. This information-packed resource costs $10.

"Is it a calendar with a gardening guide or a garden guide in a calendar?" Warman said. "Whatever way you look at it, the 2019 calendar is a wealth of information that is useful for both the novice and the experienced gardener."
You can this calendar/guide at the Auburn Home
and Garden Show this weekend.
Now in its 27th year, this local calendar and gardening guide features the latest recommendations of University of California research and what the UC Cooperative Extension considers to be the best gardening practices, said master gardener Sue Nelson Williams, co-chairperson for the calendar project.

A different style of gardening is featured each month along with a planting guide and farmers market shopping list.

"This gardening guide is intended to inspire and instruct readers on creating a garden that interests them, such as sensory, naturalistic, rain, children's, container, rock, fire-resistant, low maintenance and much more," Williams said.

This practical calendar is meant to be used as a tool for foothill gardeners, specifically Placer, Nevada and El Dorado counties, but also includes valuable information for the Sacramento area and Central Valley, too.

"The calendar organizes gardening based on what to do when to make keeping up with gardening activities easier," Warman said. "And the paper is easy to write on so you can keep track of gardening tasks.

"There is information on 'Adjusting for Altitude' and 'Understanding Climate Zones' at the beginning of the calendar, essential information for the many different areas gardeners reside," she added. "The calendar is suitable for climate zones from California’s Central Valley to the foothills."


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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