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Sherwood hosts Open Garden Days; guided tour Saturday

Milkweed attracts aphids, too!  The yellow dots on the stem are oleander aphids. Learn how to control those and other pests during Open Garden Days at the Sherwood Demonstration Garden.

Milkweed attracts aphids, too! The yellow dots on the stem are oleander aphids. Learn how to control those and other pests during Open Garden Days at the Sherwood Demonstration Garden. Kathy Morrison

“What’s eating my tomatoes?” “Why aren’t my squash growing?” “How do I get rid of aphids?”

Gardeners have lots of questions – especially this time of year.

On Friday and Saturday mornings, find answers during Open Garden Days at Sherwood Demonstration Garden in Placerville.

From 9 a.m. to noon on June 30 and July 1, the El Dorado County master gardeners will open Sherwood to the public for in-person and hands-on advice. Got a mystery plant or pest? Bring photos and, if possible, samples in zippered plastic bags.

Saturday, July 1, also features a docent-led guided tour of Sherwood’s 16 demonstration gardens. The tour starts promptly at 9 a.m. (If no one shows up, the docent leaves at 9:15.)

At Sherwood, master gardeners demonstrate research-based, sustainable gardening practices specific to the west slope of El Dorado County – but also applicable to other foothill and valley gardens. They teach by doing. Watch them at work on fruit trees or in the vegetable garden. In summer, the shade garden is especially popular with visitors.

Sherwood offers something for all ages and cultures, and reflects a variety of environments and gardening experiences, say the master gardeners. Its wide range of demonstration gardens feature plants and ideas that can be adapted to home landscapes.

Admission is free. No dogs allowed.

Sherwood Demonstration Garden is located at 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville, on the campus of Folsom Lake College’s El Dorado Center.

Details and directions: https://mgeldorado.ucanr.edu/.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist for week of April 7

The warm wave coming this week will shift weeds into overdrive. Get to work!

* Weed, weed, weed! Whack them before they flower.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash. Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias. Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom. April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings.

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