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SacTree needs volunteers for Rancho Cordova tree planting

Registration is open for more neighborhood tree plantings in March and April; families welcome

Volunteers are needed to plant trees at Dave Roberts Park in Rancho Cordova.

Volunteers are needed to plant trees at Dave Roberts Park in Rancho Cordova. Courtesy of Sacramento Tree Foundation

Winter rain makes for soft ground. That makes February and March a good time to plant trees in the greater Sacramento area. When digging holes big enough for tree root balls, the job is much easier if the site isn’t rock hard.

The task also goes faster when there’s more people to dig the holes.

Saturday morning, Feb. 24, volunteers will plant lots of new trees at Dave Roberts Park in Rancho Cordova. Organized by the Sacramento Tree Foundation, this tree planting is part of a series to bring more shade to the area’s parks and neighborhoods.

“Planting more trees in this park will help increase the amount of shaded walkways, create more spaces to picnic under, and will help clean the air and water for years to come!” say the organizers. “We provide all the necessary tools and supplies to care for trees.

“Participants will receive a short, hands-on training on site. After learning the tools and techniques, participants will split up into groups and begin planting trees throughout the site.”

SacTree particularly encourages people who live or work near Dave Roberts Park to attend. “This event is open to the general public; you do not need any prior experience to join us and on-site training will be provided,” the foundation says. “Families with children are welcome.”

Attendance is free, but participants need to register in advance to receive an email with details and logistics. Sign up here: https://sactree.org/event/dave-roberts-park-planting/

Registration starts at 8:45 a.m., followed by a tool demonstration. Wear closed-toe shoes and appropriate clothing. Expect to get a little dirty. The job should be done by noon.

SacTree also plans more tree plantings in March and April. That includes: March 16 at Karl Rosario Park in North Sacramento; March 23 at Folsom Lake College; and April 6 in Sacramento’s River District Neighborhood. Registration is now open for all of those tree planting events.

Find details and links here: https://sactree.org/events/

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Dig In: Garden Checklist for week of April 7

The warm wave coming this week will shift weeds into overdrive. Get to work!

* Weed, weed, weed! Whack them before they flower.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash. Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias. Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom. April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings.

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