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Be prepared for 2024 with the Gardening Guide & Calendar

'Habitat Gardening' is the theme for the latest publication

The 2024 Gardening Guide & Calendar debuts Saturday at Harvest Day.

The 2024 Gardening Guide & Calendar debuts Saturday at Harvest Day.

Kathy Morrison

The Sacramento County master gardeners' Harvest Day event not only is a celebration of the current gardening year, it also brings a subtle reminder that the 2024 gardening year is not that far off.

That's because the next Gardening Guide & Calendar goes on sale for the first time during Harvest Day,  this Saturday, Aug. 5, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The new price for this invaluable publication is $12, slightly higher than in previous years to cover increased costs. But it's still a bargain, stuffed with monthly gardening tips, a Sacramento planting guide and lists of websites to UC research-based gardening information.

The theme of the 2024 publication is " ... into the wild ... Habitat Gardening," defined as plantings that feed, shelter and otherwise benefit insects,  birds and other wildlife.  Each month's calendar pages features information on important plants for wildlife -- from oaks in January to winter berries in December -- while the back section goes into more detail on how to "habitat garden." Here's a sample:

"Creating a habitat garden can be as simple or as complicated as you want, and can be done on any size lot. Convert a traditional landscape to attract and support wild creatures. All, like us, need food, shelter and water to survive. Habitat gardening will provide all of those whether we have a large garden, a strip of yard or a sunny porch."

The Gardening Guide & Calendar features gorgeous plant pictures, many by local master gardeners Jan Fetler, Roxie Jones, Greta Lacin, Pam Bone and Pat Schink. Edited by Laura Cerles-Rogers, it's written by Sacramento master gardeners for Sacramento-area gardens. (Full disclosure: I'm also a contributor to the publication.)

As usual, the Gardening Guide & Calendar will be available soon at area retailers and online, but the debut sale is always at Harvest Day -- with the added incentive of no tax or shipping costs.

Harvest Day takes place at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Fair Oaks, just south of Madison Avenue. For more on Harvest Day, which has both free admission and parking, see our other blog posts this week or go to


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Oct. 1:

Make the most of this cooler weather. Get to work on your fall garden:

* October is the best month to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. Plants become established – sending down deep, strong roots – faster in warm soil.

* Divide and replant perennials. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to the planting hole, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioli, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

* Clean up the summer vegetable garden and compost disease-free foliage.

* Harvest pumpkins and winter squash.

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