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Plant your best cool-season vegetable garden

Master gardeners offer two free workshops on fall and winter vegetables

It's August, which means it's time to start seeds for many cool-season vegetables. Master gardener workshops on Aug. 12 and 19 will offer tips for success.

It's August, which means it's time to start seeds for many cool-season vegetables. Master gardener workshops on Aug. 12 and 19 will offer tips for success.

Kathy Morrison

When our weather is at its hottest, it’s time to focus on cool – as in fall and winter vegetables.

Make the most of our year-round growing season with the help of the UC Cooperative Extension master gardeners with two free workshops – one in person and one via Zoom. (You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your air-conditioned home.)

At 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, the master gardeners of Placer County will host “Fall is the New Spring,” a one-hour in-person workshop at Loomis Library, 6050 Library Drive, Loomis.

“Plant cool-season veggies in July or August? REALLY???” posted the master gardeners in their course description. “Come and learn the importance of planting cool-season crops earlier than you ever thought – and why. Meet Persephone and hear her tale of woe.”

No pre-registration is required. Just show up with questions and a notepad.

Details and directions:

For a more in-depth look (and no driving), the master gardeners of El Dorado County present a three-hour online workshop on the following Saturday via Zoom. At 9 a.m. Aug. 19, the master gardeners will host “Fall and Winter Vegetables,” with plenty of tips for success.

“Would you like to continue to harvest luscious, home-grown vegetables even after the heat of summer subsides?” say the master gardeners. “If so, now is the time to plant for a fall and winter harvest. Learn how to grow a successful winter vegetable garden from UC Master Gardener Zack Dowell.”

Pre-registration is required for this workshop. Sign up in advance to receive the Zoom link. Look for the workshop under “Master Gardener Calendar.”



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For week of Nov. 26:

Concentrate on helping your garden stay comfortable during these frosty nights – and clean up all those leaves!

* Irrigate frost-tender plants such as citrus in the late afternoon. That extra soil moisture increases temperatures around the plant a few degrees, just enough to prevent frost damage. The exception are succulents; too much water before frost can cause them to freeze.

* Cover sensitive plants before the sun goes down. Use cloth sheets or frost cloths, not plastic sheeting, to hold in warmth. Make sure to remove covers in the morning.

* Use fall leaves as mulch around shrubs and vegetables. Mulch acts as a blanket and keeps roots warmer.

* Stop dead-heading; let rose hips form on bushes to prompt dormancy.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location – and definitely indoors overnight. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they’ll bloom again next December.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Plant spring bulbs. Don’t forget the tulips chilling in the refrigerator. Daffodils can be planted without pre-chilling.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers and plant such spring bloomers as sweet peas, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Plant trees and shrubs. They’ll benefit from fall and winter rains while establishing their roots.

* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins now. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb.

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