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Annual gardening calendar like an expert at your elbow

Consider this calendar an essential garden tool.
(Photo: Kathy Morrison)
UCCE Master Gardeners, Master Food Preservers team up for 2019 publication

The 2019 growing season isn’t that far away. Before it arrives, you’ll want to have in hand the best calendar for Sacramento-area gardeners.

The UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County annually produce a calendar stuffed with growing tips for each month. At $10, it’s a bargain, and even more so this year because the Master Gardeners have teamed with the Master Food Preservers to include methods and ideas for preserving your harvest.

The pages for January, for example, talk about choosing and growing citrus, plus harvest tips, and then ideas for saving those gorgeous oranges, Meyer lemons, grapefruit and more as juice, marmalade or candied peel. Recipes are in the back of the calendar for when you feel inspired.

The calendar also features a complete Seasonal Guide to Vegetable Planting for our region. (One tidbit gleaned from that: Hold off on planting the cilantro seedlings until October.) Plus there is information on container and straw-bale gardening, as well as the art of espaliering fruit trees.

Other items cover pollinators and plants that attract them, how to recognize pesky harlequin bugs, and an explanation of mosaic virus.

Every item is referenced to a UCANR publication that can provide more information. It’s like having a Master Gardener or Master Food Preserver always at the ready.

The calendars can be purchased now online at , as well as at any Master Gardener or Master Food Preserver event. Later in the fall, some retail outlets also will carry it, usually the better nurseries and hardware stores. Proceeds benefit all the MG and MFP events, workshops and classes, which are invaluable local resources.

-- Kathy Morrison


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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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