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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: https://yolomg.ucanr.edu/?calitem=570427&g=57253.

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: https://yolomg.ucanr.edu/.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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