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Classes, plant sales and a swap on Saturday's packed calendar

Free beekeeping intro in Elk Grove; seed exchange in Folsom

Many plants thrive in containers, which gives a gardener with limited space more options. Learn about container gardening Saturday in Lincoln.

Many plants thrive in containers, which gives a gardener with limited space more options. Learn about container gardening Saturday in Lincoln. Kathy Morrison

With so many gardening events going on this month, it's hard to keep track of them all. April's final weekend includes some excellent -- and free -- garden education opportunities that may have slipped under the radar. There are also two large plant sales and a seed-and-plant swap, too. All these events happen Saturday, April 27. Take a look:

-- Beekeeping 101, 10 a.m. to noon, at the Elk Grove Community Garden, 10025 Hampton Oak Drive, Elk Grove. Beekeeper John Phair will cover all things bees, including a hive inspection and starting a bee colony using a nucleus hive. RSVP at (916) 818-9108, but walk-ins also are welcome. Suggested donation: canned goods for the Elk Grove Food Bank. Information:

-- Container gardening, 2 to 3 p.m., taught by the Placer County master gardeners at the Twelve Bridges Library, 485 Twelve Bridges Drive, Lincoln. A valuable class for anyone with limited outdoor space, or who wants to garden on a patio or balcony. "This workshop will cover choosing the right container, plant selection tips, transplanting and more," they say.  "Learn how to be successful growing ornamental plants, as well as fruit and vegetables." No registration required. Information:

-- Plant & Seed Exchange, 1 to 3 p.m., at the Folsom Library, 411 Stafford St., Folsom. "Please bring at least one pest-free plant, plant clippings or seed bundle to exchange with others," organizers say. "By bringing one item to swap, you will receive an entry to win a $25 Green Acres gift card." Information: 

-- Ornamentals plant sale, 8 a.m. to noon, second of the El Dorado County master gardeners' spring plant sales. Some edibles not sold at the April 13 sale also will be available. Sherwood Demonstration Garden,  6699 Campus Drive, Placerville. Plants range from ground covers to trees, shrubs and succulents. Inventory accessible here:

-- UC Davis Arboretum Plant Sale, members only 9 to 10 a.m., public 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is the third of the spring sales at the arboretum's Teaching Nursery, and the last regular one before the clearance sale May 11. Inventory can be accessed on this page: To join Friends of the Arboretum and get perks in addition to member-only events, go to this site or join at the gate on sale date. 1046 Garrod Drive, UC Davis campus. Bring a wagon or cart if possible. Follow the signs to parking.


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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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