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Learn how to outsmart (or at least manage) ants

Placer County master gardeners host free workshop, 'Ants — Nobody Likes Them!'

The Argentine ant is among the common species seen in California. (Photo courtesy of UC Statewide IPM Project)

Ants! Practically every garden has them, but few gardeners like them – especially if these industrious insects start invading the house.

But how do you deal with ants? Find out during a free workshop hosted by the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Placer County.

Set for 10:30 a.m. June 25, “Ants – Nobody Likes Them!” will be presented both in person at Loomis Library and via Zoom online. No advance registration is necessary to attend in person, but sign up for the Zoom presentation in advance.

“These little insects can make us crazy!” say the master gardeners. “This workshop will cover four simple techniques for managing their impact on your life. Using integrated pest management strategies, we will cover identification of the species bugging you (and) mechanical, cultural, sanitation and chemical practices to reduce their presence in your home and garden.”

Not all ants are the same and they have different tastes depending on their species. Also learn about their link to aphids; solving the ant issue can help fight aphids, too.

Loomis Library is located at 6050 Library Drive, Loomis.

Learn more and sign up for the Zoom workshop here:


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For week of Oct. 1:

Make the most of this cooler weather. Get to work on your fall garden:

* October is the best month to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. Plants become established – sending down deep, strong roots – faster in warm soil.

* Divide and replant perennials. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to the planting hole, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioli, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

* Clean up the summer vegetable garden and compost disease-free foliage.

* Harvest pumpkins and winter squash.

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