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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: https://soilborn.org/.

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Garden Checklist for week of July 14

Your garden needs you!

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to reduce the chance of fungal infection and to conserve moisture.

* Feed vegetable plants bone meal, rock phosphate or other fertilizers high in phosphate to stimulate more blooms and fruiting. (But wait until daily high temperatures drop out of the 100s.)

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week.

* Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more. Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* It's not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers.

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