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Murer House hosts annual Lavender Day

Learn about all things lavender including how to make it thrive

Lavender grows  beautifully in the Sacramento area. This gorgeous bush and several others thrive in the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center Herb Garden.

Lavender grows beautifully in the Sacramento area. This gorgeous bush and several others thrive in the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center Herb Garden. Kathy Morrison

Can’t get enough lavender? This event will have you seeing plenty of purple – and sniffing it, too.

Saturday, June 1, the Murer House and Gardens in Folsom will host its annual Lavender Day – an event devoted to all things lavender. Admission is free.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., learn about cooking with lavender, enjoy lavender lemonade, and enter drawings for plants and lavender gifts. Dried lavender and lavender-infused items will be offered for sale.

Bees love lavender, too. At 10 a.m., beekeeper Tim Dick will talk about the benefits of lavender and other pollinator plants.

Lavender is also easy to grow. At 11:30 a.m., enjoy a talk by Greg Gayton of Green Acres Nursery & Supply and Christine Eschen of Tres Jolie Lavender Farm. They’ll offer tips on how to make lavender thrive in your garden as well as which varieties grow best in the greater Sacramento area.

Lavender, a Mediterranean native, is a perfect fit for Murer House, “a little bit of Italy in historic Folsom.” The landmark residence, museum and gardens will be open for tours during the event.

Murer House is located at 1125 Joe Murer Court, Folsom.

Details and directions: https://murerhousefoundation.org/.

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Garden Checklist for week of June 23

Get to work in the mornings while it’s still cool.

* Irrigate early in the day; your plants will appreciate it.

* Generally, tomatoes need deep watering two to three times a week, but don't let them dry out completely. That can encourage blossom-end rot.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the early hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Avoid pot “hot feet.” Place a 1-inch-thick board under container plants sitting on pavement. This little cushion helps insulate them from radiated heat.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants. Mulch to conserve moisture and reduce heat stress.

* Cut back Shasta daisies after flowering to encourage a second bloom in the fall.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes. 

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

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