Ann Wright: Master Gardeners of Nevada County announce the launch of the 2020 Garden Guide | TheUnion.com
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Ann Wright: Master Gardeners of Nevada County announce the launch of the 2020 Garden Guide

Ann Wright
Columnist

The updated 2020 edition of the Nevada County Master Gardeners Western Sierra Foothills Garden Guide will be published this spring with a launch at our plant sale on May 9 – the Saturday before Mother’s Day. As in previous editions, the 2020 gardening guide provides cultural tips and an abundance of gardening information relevant to the Sierra foothills. New and updated sections on growing native plants, container gardening, composting and vermicomposting have been added to the content. The 2020 edition will also provide lists of plants that grow well in our area, as well as expanded information about integrated pest management.

Back in 1985, local Master Gardeners saw the need for a publication to disseminate gardening information to community home gardeners, specifically in the Sierra foothills. Many calls had been received asking about growing vegetables in this area. At that time the Master Gardeners decided to put together a 28-page booklet with climate charts, growing dates and cultural hints for growing vegetables locally. In 1990 it was decided to expand the booklet into a full-fledged gardening book, just for the western Nevada County foothills. Chapters were added and information on growing vegetables was expanded. From 2002 to 2010, the book continued to be developed and updated; chapters were added and content further researched. The 2010 edition, the Western Nevada County Gardening Guide was published with over 25 sections of subject matter, covering many aspects of home gardening.

With the updated Western Sierra Foothills Garden Guide as a resource, gardeners in the Sierra foothills will become more confident and successful gardening in the challenging conditions that are unique to our local areas. Following the launch at the spring plant sale, the book will be for sale at our office at 255 South Auburn St. as well as local retail stores and nurseries. The cost of the book will be $30. For more information, contact the UCCE Master Gardeners of Nevada County at 530-273-0919.

In addition to getting ready to publish a new book, Master Gardeners are busy preparing for the upcoming workshop season. The first workshop this year, “Plan It! 12 Month Vegetable Gardening” will be presented on Feb. 1, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Elks Lodge in Grass Valley (109 S. School Street, lower level). On Feb. 8, learn about what to plant to attract pollinators. “Pollinators-Understand and Encourage These Vital Little Critters” will be presented from 10 a.m. to noon, also at the Elks Lodge.

With the updated Western Sierra Foothills Garden Guide as a resource, gardeners in the Sierra foothills will become more confident and successful gardening in the challenging conditions that are unique to our local areas.

This is a good time for making plans for spring gardens. Other tasks that can be done now include:

After the soaking rain and snow, once the ground has dried a little, holes for bare-root plants can be prepared.

Continue to clean fallen leaves and old dry fruit from under fruit trees. (Compost only pest and disease-free plant debris. For example, cuttings of fruit trees that have had fire blight should not be composted.)

Prune fruit and flowering members of the apple and pear family and crape myrtles. If conifers need pruning, do so before the weather warms – usually before the middle of March.

Between winter storms, now is also a good time to spray dormant oil on all trees and shrubs susceptible to aphids, scale and mites. Clean up under the tree before using the dormant spray. Spray the entire tree trunk, branches, twigs and the ground under the trees. Spray again before bud break.

Clean, sharpen and restore garden tools – rust is a tool’s worst nightmare! Use some machine oil in hinges of pruners and loppers.

For more information about Nevada County Master Gardener workshops, events or activities, call the hotline at 530-273-0919 or go to the website at http://www.ncmg.ucanr.org. Master Gardeners are also available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon in the office at the Vets Hall, 255 S. Auburn St. in Grass Valley.

Ann Wright is a Nevada County Master Gardener.


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