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Learn rose care indoors from local experts

Sierra Foothills Rose Society hosts annual workshop and chili cookoff

Baldo Villegas, assisted by Charlotte Owendyk, demonstrates his 3-minute pruning method at the 2022 winter rose care workshop.

Baldo Villegas, assisted by Charlotte Owendyk, demonstrates his 3-minute pruning method at the 2022 winter rose care workshop.

Photo by Audrey’s Joy, courtesy of the Sierra Foothills Rose Society

It’s time to hone your pruning skills, and this indoor workshop comes with a chili cookoff on the side.

On Saturday, Jan. 14, the Sierra Foothills Rose Society hosts its annual Winter Care Workshop at the Orangevale Grange Hall. Admission is free and no advance registration is necessary.

Master rosarian Baldo Villegas and other society members will present easy-care tips to produce “the healthiest roses and best blooms for months.”

Always a highlight, Baldo will demonstrate his fast-prune method – how to prune a full-size hybrid tea or other large rose in 3 minutes or less.

“This is a hands-on experience, so bring your gloves and pruners,” say the organizers. “Our society is doing our best to continue to provide a safe environment. There will be plenty of room to social distance, and (they’ll be) checking temperatures as you enter.”

The club’s chili cookoff is back, too! After all the rose talk, the conversation turns to chili as several society members vie for the chili cookoff crown. Attendees get to sample and vote for the winner.

The Orangevale Grange is located at 5807 Walnut Ave., Orangevale.

The schedule:

8:30 a.m. – Doors Open/Registration
9 a.m. – Pruning Tools and Their Care
9:15 a.m. – Pruning Principles and Tips by Rose Types
10 a.m. – Hands On Pruning by Type: Hybrid Teas and Floribundas; Old Garden Roses and Polyanthas; Shrubs and Climbing Roses; and Miniatures and Minifloras.
10:45 a.m. – Roses in the Landscape
11:45 a.m. – Controlling Pests and Diseases in the Garden
12:30 p.m. – Q&A and Chili Cookoff (attendees sample and vote for the best chili)

For more details:


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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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