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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 https://mgeldorado.ucanr.edu/

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 https://pcmg.ucanr.org/

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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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