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Learn how to manage summer fruit trees for a better crop

Soil Born offers hands-on workshop in its American River Ranch orchard

For successful orchard crops, fruit trees must be selectively thinned and carefully pruned.

For successful orchard crops, fruit trees must be selectively thinned and carefully pruned.

Kathy Morrison

Summer is a crucial time for fruit farmers – and it’s not just remembering to irrigate. Fruit trees need to be “managed.” That includes selective thinning and careful pruning.

Learn how during a hands-on workshop at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 10, at Soil Born Farms.

Led by Soil Born founder and co-director Shawn Harrison, “Summer Fruit Tree Care” will introduce gardeners of all experience levels to how they can get more harvest from their own backyard orchards – or a single tree.

“Proper care of fruit trees can boost their health and maximize their production,” say the organizers. “This is a hands-on class focused on learning how to summer prune and provide other necessary care for your fruit trees. We will be learning by doing, so please bring a hat, boots and gloves!”

At its American River Ranch, Soil Born grows a wide assortment of fruit including multiple varieties of apples, apricots, cherries, figs, mulberries, nectarines, olives, peaches, pears, persimmons, pluots and pomegranates. Here’s an opportunity to ask questions and get expert advice.

Fee for this 2-1/2-hour workshop is $30 and advance registration is required.

Soil Born’s American River Ranch is located at 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova. After class, take advantage of Soil Born’s Saturday farmstand and other activities.

To register and more details:


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

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