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Elk Grove, learn how to make your own 'garden gold'

Community Garden hosts free composting workshop

Kitchen waste is the basis of free "garden gold" -- compost! Use as an amendment or a mulch, and your soil will benefit.

Kitchen waste is the basis of free "garden gold" -- compost! Use as an amendment or a mulch, and your soil will benefit. Photo courtesy City of Elk Grove and Republic Services

Here's a great deal for Elk Grove residents: Turn kitchen waste into a rich soil amendment for your garden. Make your own compost and improve your soil, too.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, learn how to make “garden gold” with a compost workshop offered by the City of Elk Grove and Republic Services.

Free for Elk Grove residents, this hands-on demonstration will be held at Elk Grove Community Garden, 10025 Hampton Oak Drive, Elk Grove.

Space is limited and advance registration is encouraged. Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/elk-grove-compost-workshop-tickets-691058493557.

The one-hour workshop will cover the basics of composting, how to mix “greens” (fresh material) with “browns” (dried material) for faster results, plus what to do with the compost when it’s ready. Not only will you be recycling organic waste (banana peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, etc.), you’ll be saving money: Soil amendment is expensive!

For more on organic recycling in Elk Grove: https://www.elkgrovecity.org/recycling-and-waste/organic-recycling.

Not an Elk Grove resident? Check out the free Compost and Mulch workshop scheduled by the City of Roseville, 10 a.m. Sept. 23. Registration information is here.

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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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