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‘What's the Buzz about Pollinators?’ Find out at free workshop

Placer County master gardeners show how to attract more beneficial insects, birds and bats (yes, bats) to your landscape

Squash blossoms need bees or other pollinators to produce squash, one of many crops dependent on outside help.

Squash blossoms need bees or other pollinators to produce squash, one of many crops dependent on outside help. Debbie Arrington

It’s time to talk about the birds and the bees (and butterflies, too). No, not that talk, but how we people can help wildlife while it helps our gardens, too.

A lot more critters than honeybees take part in flower pollination. Learn how to make pollinators feel at home in your landscape during the free workshop, “What's the Buzz about Pollinators?”

Offered by the Placer County master gardeners, this 90-minute class will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 15, at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center (RUEC). The group will meet in the center’s courtyard to see nature in action.

“Bees? Please! Pollinators like bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and bats are an integral part of our ecosystem and are beneficial in the garden,” say the organizers. “Learn about the different pollinators and their life cycles, what plants attract these hard workers and how to provide for their habitat. Before you know it, your garden will be fluttering with life.”

This course is just in time for Pollinator Week, June 17-23. All of June is designated as Pollinator Month.

The workshop is open to adults age 18 and up. Although the class is free, registration is required. Sign up here.

RUEC is located at 1500 Pleasant Grove Blvd., Roseville.

For more classes and details: https://pcmg.ucanr.edu/.

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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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