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Learn about native plants, lawn removal

El Dorado, Placer master gardeners offer workshops

California flannel bush is an attractive California native plant that requires no summer watering once established.

California flannel bush is an attractive California native plant that requires no summer watering once established.

Kathy Morrison

With the fall plant sale season starting up, this is a great time to learn about landscaping with California natives.

The El Dorado County master gardeners will present a free “Native Plants” class this Saturday, Sept. 17, from 9  a.m. to noon at the Sherwood Demonstration Garden.

Master gardener Alice Cantelow will teach interested folks how to choose and add colorful, easy-care native plants to their gardens. And there are so many benefits: Natives attract wildlife and pollinators, and they require less water and fertilizers than non-natives.

The Sherwood Demonstration Garden is at 6699 Campus Drive in Placerville. It incorporates 16 individual theme gardens. With the pleasant weather we’re experiencing this week, the garden would be a lovely place to visit; this Friday, Sept. 16, it will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to noon.

For more information on the natives class, the Sherwood garden, or other El Dorado master gardener activities, go to

The Placer County master gardeners, meanwhile, at 10:30 a.m. this Saturday will offer a free “Lawn Replacement Workshop” class at the Loomis Library, 6050 Library Drive, Loomis. 

A similar class, “Lawn Removal,” will be offered at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd., at 10 a.m. Oct. 8. Pre-registration is required, however. Cost for this workshop is $5 for residents, $6 for non-residents.

Find more information on Placer County master gardener events at


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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