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Sacramento master gardeners host Open Garden Day

The vegetable garden at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center will a showcase of cool-season vegetables at Open Garden Day, as in this photo from an earlier February.

The vegetable garden at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center will a showcase of cool-season vegetables at Open Garden Day, as in this photo from an earlier February.

Kathy Morrison

Get ready for spring with expert advice from Sacramento County master gardeners.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, the master gardeners will host Open Garden Day at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center in Fair Oaks Park – rain or shine. Admission and parking are free.

From 9 a.m. to noon, watch master gardeners as they tend to mid-winter tasks and prepare for spring planting and rapid growth. They’ll also host several hands-on demonstrations including:

* Berries: Learn how blueberries and cane berries are pruned for the upcoming harvest season.

* Compost: Building, turning and harvesting compost. Visit the Worm Bin, too.

* Herbs: See Herbs flourishing in the cooler weather.

* Orchard: Bare branches in the orchard show proper pruning cuts.

* Vineyard: See canes getting ready to bud. Learn pruning basics.

* Vegetables: Cool-season vegetables are on display in raised beds.

* WEL: The water-efficient landscape will be full of overwintering beneficial insects ready for pests.

Got a garden mystery, problem pest or puzzling plant? Bring photos and/or samples (in a sealed plastic zipper bag) to the Ask a Master Gardener table.

Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is located at 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks.

Details and directions:


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* 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 fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* 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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