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Open Garden Days designed for foothill gardeners

Sherwood Demonstration Garden welcomes visitors this week. (Photo courtesy UCCE Master Gardeners of El Dorado County)

El Dorado County master gardeners invite public to Sherwood Demonstration Garden in Placerville

When it comes to gardening, the foothills are different.

Compared to Sacramento, it’s often colder in the Sierra foothills. Tomato season starts later; for some crops, the growing season is shorter. And some plants actually appreciate the difference. (And don’t forget about deer!)

Find out how to make the most of your foothill garden at Open Garden Days at Sherwood Demonstration Garden in Placerville.

From 9 a.m. to noon Friday and Saturday, July 8 and 9, the UC Cooperative Master Gardeners in El Dorado County will open their demonstration garden to the public.

“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,” say 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 includes 16 individual demonstrations gardens , ranging from water-wise All-Stars and butterfly habitat to shade lovers and vegetables. Even if you garden elsewhere, it’s a wonderful and inspirational place to visit.

During Open Garden Days, master gardeners are out in force to demonstrate their techniques and offer advice. Got garden questions? These folks have answers (or know where to look).

Admission is free. Parking is $2. No dogs please.

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

For more information and directions: .

— Debbie Arrington


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* 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.

* 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 wee 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.

* 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.

* 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.

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