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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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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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