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Soil Born Farms hosts busy Saturday

Bird walk, farm tour and seed saving workshop offered at American River Ranch

Soil Born Farms' American River Ranch -- Sacramento's oldest working farm -- grows a wide range of crops using regenerative methods.

Soil Born Farms' American River Ranch -- Sacramento's oldest working farm -- grows a wide range of crops using regenerative methods. Photo courtesy of Soil Born Farms   Soil Born Farms

Celebrate the change of season while learning about local wildlife and gardening know-how.

Soil Born Farms’ American River Ranch – the Sacramento area’s oldest working farm – will host a variety of workshops and tours Saturday, Sept. 24. Register in advance.

At 8 a.m., enjoy a “Bird Walk” with naturalist Cliff Hawley and get to know the feathered friends that flock to the American River Parkway. It’s ideal for beginning and intermediate birdwatchers. Fee is $15 with proceeds supporting the American River Ranch Restoration and Development Fund.

At 9 a.m., learn about “Seed Saving” with Soil Borns’ Kellan MacKay. Class fee is $30.

“We will discuss the importance of seed saving, how to care for the plants to assure a good seed supply and how to create the right environment to save seeds,” say the organizers. “Learn the difference between open pollinated plants and hybrid seeds and get hands-on experience cleaning and storing seeds.”

Also at 9 a.m., take a “Regenerative Agriculture Farm Tour” with Tyler Stowers. “See how our farmers implement regenerative practices that revitalize the land and restore the historic American River Ranch,” say the organizers.

Sign up in advance at www.soilborn.org. Soil Borns’ American River Ranch is located at 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova.

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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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