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Zoom in on the Kitchen Garden: Tomatoes, pests and more

Yolo master gardeners present an online and in-person chat

So the tomatoes are starting to grow -- and the pests appear.

So the tomatoes are starting to grow -- and the pests appear. Kathy Morrison

The tomatoes are finally in the ground, growing and even setting fruit. Then the pests start to appear, especially the dreaded tomato hornworm. Or the tomatoes develop brownish spots on the bottom -- blossom end rot!

What's a tomato grower to do?

Certainly, prevention and awareness are keys to keeping those tomatoes from harm. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 3, in a hybrid in-person and Zoom online event, the Yolo County master gardeners will present their lastest Kitchen Garden Chat on this topic and more.

"We will talk about what to do in the edible garden with emphasis on pests and tomato issues and how to store the summer bounty," say the organizers.

The in-person event will be in the Leake Room of the Woodland Public Library, 250 First St., Woodland. To view the chat via Zoom, go to https://ucanr.zoom.us/j/98028723763. The event is free and open to all.

In addition, if you happen to be at the Woodland farmers market Saturday morning, starting at 9 a.m. the Yolo master gardeners will be staffing a table. Bring gardening questions and plant problems to them for potential solutions. 

Looking ahead, an in-person workshop on "Gardening for Year-Round Meals" will be presented by the Yolo master gardeners on Saturday, June 10, at 11 a.m.,  United Methodist Church/Grace Gardens, 1620 Anderson Road, Davis.

For more on these events, check the Yolo MGs' Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/yolomg.

For general information on the UCCE master gardeners of Yolo County, visit https://yolomg.ucanr.edu/ 

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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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