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Learn how to start vegetables, flowers from seed

Green Acres offers free seed-starting workshop at all seven locations

So many seed varieties! Learn how to germinate them and get seedlings off to the best start during a Feb. 10 workshop at all seven area Green Acres sites.

So many seed varieties! Learn how to germinate them and get seedlings off to the best start during a Feb. 10 workshop at all seven area Green Acres sites. Kathy Morrison

Here’s a tip for every budget-conscious gardener: What can greatly expand the diversity of your garden while saving a lot of money? Grow plants from seed.
But how do you get those seeds off to a healthy start? Which varieties are easiest to grow? When do you set your baby plants outdoors and how do you assure that they’ll thrive?

Find out at free workshops at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, offered by Green Acres Nursery & Supply.

All seven Green Acres locations will host “Starting from Seed,” part of the chain’s Garden Talk series. Green Acres garden gurus will offer their expert advice on how to get seeds off to their best beginnings, then keep them growing strong.

These workshops will focus on the basics: How to get seeds to sprout and then keep them going. Green Acres staff also will offer tips on which vegetables and flowers are easiest to grow and shortcuts for success. Find out what are the best growing mediums for seed starting and other needs such as light and warmth. Also learn how to avoid seed starting pitfalls such as “damping off.”

No advance registration is necessary; just show up with your questions and the ability to take notes.

Green Acres are located in Sacramento, Auburn, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Rocklin and Roseville.

For details and directions: https://idiggreenacres.com/.

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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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