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Learn how to make compost at free workshop

Placer County master gardeners also host monthly Open Garden at Loomis Library

See how Placer County master gardeners make “garden gold” at their new demonstration garden at the Loomis Library. This is the “finished compost” bin at the garden, which will be open for visitors July 13.

See how Placer County master gardeners make “garden gold” at their new demonstration garden at the Loomis Library. This is the “finished compost” bin at the garden, which will be open for visitors July 13. Kathy Morrison

Turn garbage into garden gold; it’s the magic of composting.

Learn how to make your own compost – and help your garden – during a free workshop presented by the Placer County master gardeners at the Loomis Library.

Set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 13, this one-hour hands-on class will tackle the basics of “Compost and Mulch.” No advance registration is necessary.

“Who knew your kitchen scraps and yard debris could improve your soil?” say the master gardeners. “It’s called composting, which not only improves your soil, but helps you save water. Learn about how to set up a system that works for you. Also learn about the different types of mulch and how they protect your garden.”

Master gardeners will explain how compost and mulch work. (What’s the difference? Compost can be mulch, but not all mulch is compost.) They’ll also offer compost recipes for success, mixing kitchen scraps with dried leaves, grass clippings or other garden byproducts.

What to do with all that compost? It’s high-grade fertilizer that will produce bigger blooms and better harvests.

Before or after class, admire the master gardeners’ new demonstration garden outside the library. Master gardeners will be staffing the garden and answering questions from 10 a.m. to noon. Saturday, their monthly Open Garden Day.

“Master gardeners focus on visitor’s education and create enthusiasm for water-wise, environmentally focused, and inspirational ‘Gardening for Today,’” they say. “Our garden is a living classroom for the Placer County community that emphasizes sustainable gardening, integrated pest management and backyard food production.”

See for yourself. Loomis Library is located at 6050 Library Road, Loomis.

Details: https://pcmg.ucanr.edu/.

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Garden Checklist for week of July 14

Your garden needs you!

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to reduce the chance of fungal infection and to conserve moisture.

* Feed vegetable plants bone meal, rock phosphate or other fertilizers high in phosphate to stimulate more blooms and fruiting. (But wait until daily high temperatures drop out of the 100s.)

* 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.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* 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.

* It's not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

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

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