Sacramento County master gardeners host free event Saturday
The orchard at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center includes espaliered fruit trees, above, as well as trees pruned to be "fruit bushes," kept under 7 feet tall to allow easy harvesting. Learn about both types of pruning/training during Open Garden Day.
After three weeks of rain, we gardeners have a lot of pent-up energy – and questions. What should we be doing now to help our gardens be their best – or just survive?
Get those answers Saturday morning – and maybe learn some new techniques – during “Open Garden” with the Sacramento County master gardeners. Admission and parking are free.
Set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center in Fair Oaks Park, Open Garden is a chance to hang out with experts as they tackle their garden tasks. At various garden stations, see hands-on demonstrations. Here are some of Saturday’s topics:
* Compost: Sorting home food waste – Compost pile? Worm bin? Organic Waste Can?
* Water-Efficient Landscape Garden: Flowering bulbs and colorful foliage.
* Vegetables: Tasty cool weather crops.
* Herbs: Brighten winter dishes with flavorful herbs.
* Proper pruning methods for: cane berries and blueberries; deciduous fruit trees; and grapevines.
And of course, Sacramento County master gardeners will be available to answer questions and offer advice from local experience. Got a mystery pest or problem? Bring photos or a sample, packed in a sealed zippered plastic bag.
The forecast calls for sun although it will be chilly with temperatures in the 40s; dress warmly with closed-toe shoes. Open Garden will go on, rain or shine.
Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is located at 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., in Fair Oaks.
For more details: https://sacmg.ucanr.edu/.
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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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