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Learning now for garden success this year

Planning, planting classes and videos offered by the area's master gardeners

Sacramento County master gardener Tamara Engel demonstrates how to prune a mature blueberry plant in a YouTube video.

Sacramento County master gardener Tamara Engel demonstrates how to prune a mature blueberry plant in a YouTube video. Screenshot from Sacramento County master gardeners' YouTube channel

We’re back to rain today (and likely Sunday) but even with wet conditions gardeners can still make progress the next several days toward their spring gardens. Choosing and starting seeds, for example, planning irrigation, or learning how to maximize planting spaces will all contribute to success.

The region’s master gardeners have three classes coming up that can help in those pursuits:

– “Gardening in Small Spaces,” 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Feb. 8. This three-hour in-person class from the El Dorado County master gardeners will be held at the Cameron Park Community Center, 2502 Country Club Drive, Cameron Park. Master gardener Mike Pavlick will cover site location, design, raised bed options, container gardening and other methods that will allow anyone to have a vegetable garden in a small backyard setting. No pre-registration required. Information on the El Dorado master gardeners' events can be found here.

– “Growing Spring and Summer Vegetables,” Zoom online class, 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Feb. 11. El Dorado master gardener Zack Dowell will discuss garden plant selection, planting times, site selection, soil preparation, proper seed planting techniques, and pest management. Pre-registration is required to get the Zoom link. The registration link can be found under the class listing here:

– “Improving Water Efficiency in Your Garden,” in-person and Zoom workshop, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. Presented by the Placer County master gardeners, it will include tips and resources for maximizing their water efficiency.  Participants will gain water-wise ideas and visuals for transforming their landscape, organizers note. The in-person site is the Loomis Library, 6050 Library Drive, Loomis. The registration link for the simultaneous Zoom workshop can be found here.

Meanwhile, the Sacramento County master gardeners recently posted two helpful YouTube videos for this time of year: “Pruning Mature Blueberry Plants,” with master gardener Tamara Engel, and “Transplanting Nursery Plants for a Healthy Start” with master gardener Lisa Odom. Each is just 5 minutes, succinct and easy to repeat. 

– Kathy Morrison


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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