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Sacramento gardener's best friend is still just $10

2023 Gardening Guide and Calendar on sale now

Calendar cover with five pictures of vegetables
Now available: The 2023 Gardening Guide & Calendar.

Harvest Day this month was so busy that the debut of the 2023 Gardening Guide and Calendar may have slipped under the radar. But with summer winding down, and fall planting ahead, now is the perfect time to buy a copy -- and several more for friends and family.

The Gardening Guide and Calendar is produced by the Sacramento County master gardeners, with a different theme each year. (Full disclosure: I wrote some pieces for and helped proof the publication.) Master gardener Laura Cerles-Rogers wrangles many articles and photos into the single most helpful guide for Sacramento-area gardeners that I've ever run across. The price, including tax, is still just $10.

March page with Bok Choy information
March features bok choy. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)
"Edible Gardens: Veggies" is the theme for 2023. The calendar part of the publication includes gorgeous pictures of the featured vegetables as well as notes on each month's garden chores, pests to watch out for, lists of UC ANR online resources and other seasonal tips.  There is plenty of space to take notes on planting dates, weather events and fertilizer reminders, to name a few things I keep track of on mine.

The back portion is a gardening magazine in itself: An extensive story on tomatoes, ideas for small-space gardening, a look at vegetable pests, an explanation of the Scoville scale of pepper hotness, and a host of other informative pieces. The so-helpful annual Planting Chart rounds out the pages.

The publication is available online at https://sacmg.ucanr.edu/Gardening_Guide/ for mail delivery, and also will be sold in person at master gardener events the remainder of the year. (Coming up: Open Garden Day on Sept. 10.) Several nurseries in the region also typically carry it during the fall, although the price could be a little higher.

Proceeds from the sales benefit Sacramento County master gardener programs.

-- Kathy Morrison


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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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