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Online workshop shows how to attract more birds, bees, butterflies

Yolo County master gardeners share advice on how to create a 'Wildlife Friendly Garden'

A painted lady butterfly enjoys the nectar of some lacy phacelia. In the Yolo master gardeners' online workshop Thursday, learn about plants that both humans and wildlife can enjoy.

A painted lady butterfly enjoys the nectar of some lacy phacelia. In the Yolo master gardeners' online workshop Thursday, learn about plants that both humans and wildlife can enjoy. Kathy Morrison

October is the perfect time to plant most California natives, shrubs, trees and perennials – just the kind of flowering plants that attract more bees, butterflies and birds to your garden.

But what to plant? Which flowers do hummingbirds prefer? How about beneficial insects?

Find out during a free online seminar, hosted by the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Yolo County and the Yolo County Library.

Set for 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, “Wildlife Friendly Garden” will show how people – especially in suburban or urban settings – can help native wildlife such as bees and birds through thoughtful gardening. By providing food and habitat, what you plant makes a big difference in their lives.

Yolo County Master Gardener Petra Unger will discuss how to plant a garden that’s both friendly to wildlife and people, say the organizers. “Learn how to best design, plant and grow your garden to maximize the benefits to wildlife and yourself.”

Unger’s advice works not only for Yolo County but all of the Central Valley and Sierra foothills. Since it’s on Zoom, the online workshop is available to a broad audience. Find the link here:

This workshop is part of an online series presented at 3 p.m. the second and fourth Thursdays of each month by the master gardeners and Yolo County Library. Set for Nov. 9, the next class: “What to Do in the November Garden?”

For more details:


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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