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Know your alliums? Check out this free combo class Saturday

Learn about planting garlic -- and preserving it, too

Garlic planting time is coming up quickly. Garlic is an important member of the allium family, which also includes onions, shallots, leeks and chives.

Garlic planting time is coming up quickly. Garlic is an important member of the allium family, which also includes onions, shallots, leeks and chives.

Kathy Morrison

Growing your own food and then cooking it can be thrill for a beginning gardener. But even folks experienced in edible gardening are likely to learn something fun in an upcoming combo class on alliums -- garlic, onions, shallots and other plant relatives.

"Garlic, Shallots and More" will be offered 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Sept. 16, by the UCCE El Dorado County master gardeners and master food preservers. 

Here's how they explain it: "The master gardeners will discuss how to successfully select, grow, and harvest onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, scallions and chives. Information covered will include soil preparation, fertilizer requirements, pest management and water needs.

"The master food preservers will discuss safe preserving methods for your harvest. Additionally, you will go home with fantastic recipes, tips and tricks for your alliums."

The class will be held at the Sherwood Demonstration Garden, 6699 Campus Drive in Placerville. It is free, but the organizers ask that interested folks register ahead here.

The El Dorado master gardeners have two other classes on Saturdays this month: Greenhouse Gardening on Sept. 23 and Shade Gardening on Sept. 30. Each is 3 hours long, 9 a.m. to noon. For more information on these and other events, go to the calendar on their website,


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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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