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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)

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Dig In: Garden Checklist for week of April 7

The warm wave coming this week will shift weeds into overdrive. Get to work!

* Weed, weed, weed! Whack them before they flower.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash. Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias. Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom. April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings.

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