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For foothill gardeners, two Open Garden Days and a fall vegetable workshop

Get expert advice at Sherwood Demonstration Garden on Friday and Saturday

Several shrubs with sign that says All-Stars
The All-Stars Garden is one of 16 at the El Dorado master gardeners' Sherwood Demonstration Garden. (Photo courtesy El Dorado master gardeners)

Interested in vegetable growing in the Sierra foothills? Or do you have other garden questions that need a foothill perspective? Then, check out Open Garden Days on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 5 and 6, at the Sherwood Demonstration Garden.

Hosted by the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of El Dorado County, Open Garden Days include activities and advice in all 16 demonstration gardens tended at Sherwood. Hours are 9 a.m. to noon each day.

In addition, a workshop devoted to fall and winter vegetable gardening will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday.

“It’s time to start planning and planting your fall and winter garden!” say the organizers. “Join UC Master Gardener Zack Dowell to learn best practices and plant recommendations for a successful fall and winter growing season in your vegetable garden.”

Also at 9 a.m. Saturday, a guided tour of Sherwood’s 16 gardens will be offered.

Parking and admission are free. Master gardeners will be on hand to discuss your garden and landscape questions.

“As master gardeners, we are committed to educating the general public on sustainable horticulture and pest management practices based on traditional, current, and evolving research,” explain the master gardeners.

“It is our goal that the Sherwood Demonstration Garden will provide the public with a hands-on, interactive experience about research-based, sustainable gardening practices specific to the west slope of El Dorado County, appropriate for all ages and cultures, and reflective of a variety of environments and gardening experiences.”

Sherwood Garden is located at 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville, on the campus of Folsom Lake College’s El Dorado Center.

Details and directions: https://mgeldorado.ucanr.edu/ .

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Garden Checklist for week of June 23

Get to work in the mornings while it’s still cool.

* Irrigate early in the day; your plants will appreciate it.

* Generally, tomatoes need deep watering two to three times a week, but don't let them dry out completely. That can encourage blossom-end rot.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the early hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Avoid pot “hot feet.” Place a 1-inch-thick board under container plants sitting on pavement. This little cushion helps insulate them from radiated heat.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants. Mulch to conserve moisture and reduce heat stress.

* Cut back Shasta daisies after flowering to encourage a second bloom in the fall.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes. 

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

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