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Find gardening inspiration, answers at Open Garden Day this weekend in Fair Oaks

Sacramento master gardeners will be on hand to offer advice and tips

The forecast for Saturday is clear and cold, with an excellent chance of fruit tree blossoms at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center.

The forecast for Saturday is clear and cold, with an excellent chance of fruit tree blossoms at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center. Kathy Morrison

After the recent stormy weather, gardeners and gardening hopefuls are likely to be anxious to get outside. This Saturday, Feb. 10, should offer the perfect opportunity, as the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center welcomes visitors to Open Garden Day.

The free, informal event, which runs from 9 a.m. to noon, features Sacramento County master gardeners working in the various areas of the Horticulture Center. As visitors stroll through the site, they are encouraged to chat with the master gardeners, ask gardening questions and gather ideas for their own gardens.

The FOHC includes a vineyard, an orchard (including a separate citrus area), an herb garden, vegetable area, a berry garden, composting area and an extensive Water-Efficient Landscape, which features California natives and other plants appropriate for the Sacramento region. The WEL is open every day during daylight hours, but the other areas are open to the public only during Open Garden Days and Harvest Day. 

The "Ask a Master Gardener" table will be staffed to evaluate gardening mysteries and view examples of garden problems (leaves, insects and the like -- preferably transported in sealed clear bags).

The master gardeners also will be selling their 2024 Gardening Guide and Calendar, an invaluable resource with a price tag of just $12. It includes planting charts and lists of monthly garden tasks, as well as a wealth of information on creating a wildlife habitat in a home garden.

Mini talks are planned in the different areas of the Horticulture Center during the morning; check the schedule at the entrance for times and topics.

The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is at 11549  Fair Oaks Blvd., just south of Fair Oaks Park at Madison Avenue and Fair Oaks. Parking is free.

 Open Gardens are typically on Saturday mornings, but a few each year are on different days to accommodate other schedules. The remaining winter and spring ones this year are set for March 16, April 17 (a Wednesday), May 11, June 6 (Thursday evening) and June 15. Harvest Day, which is a larger event, is planned for Aug. 3. The year's final Open Gardens will be Sept. 14 and Oct. 16.

For more information on Sacramento County maser gardener activities and events, visit


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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