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Too wet to garden? Catch up on how-to videos

Master gardeners have many short and workshop-length films for our climate

Watch the "Orchid-Mania" Zoom workshop recorded by the Placer County master gardeners earlier this month, one of dozens of gardening videos by and available for the region's gardeners.

Watch the "Orchid-Mania" Zoom workshop recorded by the Placer County master gardeners earlier this month, one of dozens of gardening videos by and available for the region's gardeners.

Screenshot via Placer County master gardener YouTube channel

Oh, gee, is the garden soggy today. No point in trying to do anything but dump out water accumulated in saucers and (oops) buckets.

But frightful weather is a great excuse to stay inside and watch those garden videos you’ve been meaning to get to.

A quick warning on videos, however: If they’re filmed in Michigan, Florida or New Jersey, for example, they might include inaccurate advice for Northern California gardening, the Sacramento region specifically. After all, much of the country is under snow or ice right now, and those of us in the valley and lower foothills are not – a perfect example of why our gardening year is so different.

Conveniently, the master gardeners of Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Yolo counties have made many video resources available, including filming their own gardening-tip YouTube videos or past workshops. Here’s a quick summary of pertinent ones for this time of year, plus links to the various video libraries:

Sacramento County:

Sharpening Hand Pruners. It’s pruning season, so make sure those pruners are clean and sharp. (Under 5 minutes)

Pruning Woody Sages. This video includes summer and winter pruning; the latter is important so sages grow back beautifully and not too rangy in spring. (Under 3 minutes)

Make Your Garden Wildlife Friendly. This dovetails (if you’ll pardon the pun) with my blog post from last week, A lively natural habitat includes birds. (9 minutes)

Shopping for Bareroot Fruit Trees. This is a Dave Wilson Nursery video hosted on the Sacramento site. (Under 7 minutes)

Full video library list.

Placer County:

Straw Bale Gardening. Plan your straw-bale garden now with the help of this recorded workshop. (31 minutes)

 – Orchid-Mania. Workshop on how to choose and care for orchids. (66 minutes)

Full pdf list of workshop videos with links. The pdf also includes links to printable handouts associated with the workshops.

Yolo County:

Pruning Hybrid Roses. (Under 7 minutes)

List of slide presentations. Done webinar-style, each about 1 hour.

El Dorado County:

Garden Allies. Recorded workshop on critters in the garden. (1 hour 22 minutes)

YouTube channel for UCCE Central Sierra, which includes El Dorado and Amador counties

The various master gardener groups will start up workshops and open garden days again in January, beginning at the end of next week. Be sure to check out their websites (those links on the counties’ names) for event schedules.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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