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Get a look at early fall gardening Saturday in Fair Oaks

Sacramento master gardeners staff Horticulture Center for Open Garden Day

The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is pleasant and shady in the late-summer morning light.

The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is pleasant and shady in the late-summer morning light.

Kathy Morrison

The light has started to shift into that golden fall glow, have you noticed? To gardeners, that signals a great season for planting. This Saturday's Open Garden Day at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is the perfect time to check out what's growing and can be grown in fall.

Open Garden Day is a free, informal event, running from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 9. All areas of the Horticulture Center will be staffed with UCCE master gardeners, who are happy to discuss what's planted in the various areas: Berry Garden,  Herb Garden, Orchard, Vegetable Garden, Vineyard and Water-Efficient Landscape. And the master gardeners in the Compost Area are ready to answer questions about organic waste recycling and can show off their hard-working red wigglers in the worm composting bin.

Have a perplexing gardening question or an unidentified pest? Bring along plant or bug samples (preferably in plastic bags) and visit the Ask the Master Gardener table -- or talk to any of the master gardeners onsite.

Two special presentations are planned during the morning:

-- 10 a.m. "Warm Season Weeds, Cool Season Weeds."

-- 11 a.m.  "Making Your Yard Wildlife Friendly."

The new Gardening Guide and Calendar also will be on sale during the event. The 2024 theme is "Habitat Gardening." The publication's price is $12; cash or check only at this event. (It also can be ordered using a credit card on the Sacramento master gardeners' website,

The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is located at 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., just south of the Fair Oaks Library.

Plan ahead: The final Open Garden Day of 2023 will be Wednesday, Oct. 11, from 9 a.m. to noon.


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For week of Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

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