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June is bustin' out at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center

Visit during Open Garden Day this Saturday

Pond view of demonstration garden
It should be a beautiful day Saturday for the Open Garden at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center. (Photo:
Kathy Morrison)

It's June, and the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is bursting with activity in all areas. The Sacramento County master gardeners are ready to show what almost-summer looks like at their beautiful demonstration garden this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

Master gardeners will be available in all areas of the FOHC to answer questions. The weather should be perfect for strolling -- a high of 77 degrees is forecast.

These are some of the activities that visitors can expect, the master gardeners note:

-- Water-Efficient Landscape Gardens: Methods of using water wisely.

-- Herb Garden: Harvesting, gathering seeds and drying herbs.

-- Orchard: Fruit thinning and summer pruning.  Check out how the Orchard Team protects fruit from critters.

-- Berries: Ever tickled a blueberry? The Berry Team can show how to do it.

-- Vegetables: Methods for managing unwanted pests with the most recent research-based sustainable practices.  Check out how the vegetables are growing.

-- Vineyard: Managing the grape canopy, shoot, leaf and cluster thinning for a vigorous crop.

-- Compost  Embrace composting in day-to-day household activities by recycling fruit and vegetable scraps and yard trimmings.  Find out how easy backyard composting can be.  Learn about California's new food waste composting law, too.

The Horticulture Center is at 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks, south of Madison, in Fair Oaks Park, next to the Fair Oaks Library.

This will be the last Open Garden before the Aug. 6 Harvest Day celebration at FOHC. The Sacramento County master gardeners will be back at their booth to answer gardening questions during the State Fair, July 15-31. Open Garden days will return in September. For more information, (916) 875-6913, ,

-- 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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