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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 Dec. 3:

Make the most of gaps between raindrops. This is a busy month!

* Windy conditions brought down a lot of leaves. Make sure to rake them away from storm drains.

* Use those leaves as mulch around frost-tender shrubs and new transplants.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they're dormant.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Plant one last round of spring bulbs including daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, anemones and scillas. Get those tulips out of the refrigerator and into the ground.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers such as California poppies.

* Plant such spring bloomers as sweet pea, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Late fall is the best time to plant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from fall and winter rains.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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