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‘Fall Into Gardening’ with El Dorado County master gardeners

Sherwood Demonstration Garden in Placerville hosts community event for all ages

The Sherwood Demonstration Garden is the site of 16 individual garden areas. Free classes are offered there this Saturday.

The Sherwood Demonstration Garden is the site of 16 individual garden areas. Free classes are offered there this Saturday. Courtesy UCCE Master Gardeners of El Dorado County

October ranks among the best times to garden in the Sierra foothills (and other parts of the Sacramento region). And more people now are interested in learning about gardening than ever before.

Put those two facts together and you get “Fall into Gardening,” a free community event at Sherwood Demonstration Garden in Placerville.

Set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct 1, “Fall into Gardening” is hosted by the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of El Dorado County. The morning’s events include activities and advice in all 16 demonstration gardens tended at Sherwood. Expect gardening fun for the whole family with classes every 30 minutes, garden tours and crafts booths for all ages as well as all experience levels.

Parking and admission are free. Master gardeners will be on hand to discuss your garden and landscape questions.

Because of warm soil and (usually) mild days, October is the best time for major landscape renovations. Shrubs, trees and perennials benefit from fall transplanting so they can get established before the stress of summer heat next year.

Featured at this public event will be advice on growing cool-season vegetables as well as drought-tolerant gardening. Plan and plant now to save water for years to come.

Sherwood Garden is located at 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville, on the campus of Folsom Lake College’s El Dorado Center.

Details and directions: https://mgeldorado.ucanr.edu.

– Debbie Arrington

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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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