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Sacramento master gardeners host year’s final Open Garden Day

Applications close soon for MG training class of 2023

The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center will be open for browsing and inspiration this Wednesday.

The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center will be open for browsing and inspiration this Wednesday. Kathy Morrison

From the desert willow near the entrance to the grapevines at the top of the hill, the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is bathed in golden autumn light these days. The UCCE Sacramento County master gardeners will welcome visitors to the entire garden one more time in 2022 during the free Open Garden Day this Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Visitors are encouraged to bring their garden questions, mystery pests or other problems to the “Ask a Master Gardener” table for potential answers or solutions. All areas of the Horticulture Center will be staffed for visitors to wander, ask questions and be inspired. 

The FOHC includes the Water Efficient Landscape, the herb garden, the orchard and vineyard, the berry area, the vegetable garden and the compost area. Open Garden Days are informal events, and master gardeners will be available to discuss the fall activities throughout the garden.

The 2023 Gardening Guide and Calendar will be on sale during the event. Just $10, it’s a valuable resource for the year and also makes a great gift.

Anyone who has wondered what being a master gardener is all about should also visit the FOHC this Wednesday. The application period for the next training class is open now, but only through Oct. 17. For more information on applying, visit the Sacramento MG website here.

The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is at 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., just south of the Fair Oaks Library at Madison Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard. For more information on the program or events: sacmg.ucanr.edu

– Kathy Morrison

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Garden Checklist for week of April 21

This week there’s plenty to keep gardeners busy. With no rain in the immediate forecast, remember to irrigate any new transplants.

* Weed, weed, weed! Get them before they flower and go to seed.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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