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The sun will be back Saturday, so bundle up and get outside

Calendar is packed with gardening and related events

The outdoors is calling. It may not be this nice to hike at Deer Creek Hills Preserve, but it should be clear.

The outdoors is calling. It may not be this nice to hike at Deer Creek Hills Preserve, but it should be clear. PHOTO COURTESY SACRAMENTO VALLEY CONSERVANCY

Yes, we will see the sun again.

The clouds that have taken up seemingly permanent residence in the region are expected to move along, leaving clear skies by Saturday, just in time for a plethora of outdoor events. (The gray ceiling is due back Sunday, but a certain football game dominates that day, so not much else is scheduled.)

If you haven't yet decided how to spend this clear but cold day, here are a few suggestions:

-- 13th Annual Biodiversity Museum Day at UC Davis, generally from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, but times vary depending on the site. Ten of the collections on campus will be open (follow this link for the schedule and a map) for viewing and special programs, with many appealing to children and young adults. The attraction for gardeners will be the events in the Habitat Gardens near the Teaching Nursery from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Here's what planners say: "We’re featuring Climate-Ready Gardening tips and activities for all ages! We’re excited to share how you can make a big impact in your garden and in our local landscapes!" 

-- Bird Walk, Soil Born Farms, 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova. 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Cost is $15, which benefits  the American River Ranch Restoration & Development Fund. Naturalist Cliff Hawley leads the walk around Soil Born's American River Ranch. Suitable for beginning and intermediate birders. Register here.

-- Effie Yeaw Nature Center,  inside Ancil Hoffman Park,  2850 San Lorenzo Way (off Tarshes Drive), Carmichael. The center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day but Monday. Admission is free but there is a county fee for parking. The trails, which are open from dawn to dusk, should have dried out enough to enjoy a walk through the area, which is a local treasure. More details here.

-- Deer Creek Hills Preserve, Saturday trail hikes. One of the largest nature preserves in the Sacramento region, this site near Sloughhouse in eastern Sacramento County is open only on select days. From February through May, Saturday hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Taking a self-guided hike on one of three trail options requires pre-registration by 6 p.m. Friday. $10 fee. (Shortest loop must be started by 11:30 a.m., others must be started earlier.) Details can be found here.

-- And of course, Open Garden Day, 9 a.m. to noon, at the Sacramento master gardeners' Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks. Read more in our earlier blog post.

If you're not ready to venture outdoors this weekend, there are still plenty of activities for gardeners. Check out all the listings for Saturday on our Calendar, including classes on growing blueberries or growing flowers, workshops on seed starting, and the textile show and sale at the Shepard Center.

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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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