Gardeners — what to do while waiting for spring

Master Gardeners of Yolo County will be onsite at the Winters Friends of the Library tree sale on March 4 to share fruit and nut tree care tips. (Courtesy photo)

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UCCE Master Gardeners–Yolo announces free March events listing

By Denise Cottrell, Master Gardener of Yolo County
Special to the Express

In February, Punxsutawney Phil, the weather-forecasting groundhog, predicted six more weeks of winter when he emerged from his home and saw his shadow. His prediction did not seem possible a week ago with almond trees blooming and temperatures inching toward the 70s. Yet, he was correct — temperatures have dropped and winter is still here.

What’s a gardener to do? There are several tasks that will help to prepare your garden for spring. One is to get a good start on spring weeding. Pull weeds when the soil is soft but not soggy. And in anticipation of spring and warmer weather, March is a good time to flush your irrigation systems and check if sprinklers and drippers require repair. And it is not too late to start seeds for several vegetables in a greenhouse or cold frame including, eggplant, cucumber, corn, and summer squash.

If you have always wanted to plant fruit trees in your garden, March still affords the opportunity to plant bare-root fruit trees. If this is on your garden agenda, don’t miss the Winters Friends of the Library (WFoL) bare root tree sale on Saturday, March 4 where a Master Gardener will be available to answer your questions about planting and care of a bare root fruit tree. Rain or shine, the sale begins at 9 a.m., and a pre-sale for WFoL members at 8:30 a.m. Not a member? Join at the gate. The sale is located on the corner of Railroad Avenue and Edwards Street where you will find WFoL selling apricot, nectarine, peach, plum, pluot, prune, apple, cherry, pear, almond, walnut and olive trees. The cost is $20 per tree.

While waiting for spring, don’t forget the UCCE Master Gardeners of Yolo will present a number of workshops, talks, and classes throughout the month of March. A wide variety of topics are covered, and all Master Gardener events are open to the public at no cost. The events for March 2023 are listed below.

March 4: Kitchen Garden Chat
The regular monthly Kitchen Garden Chat led by UCCE Yolo County Master Gardener Treva Valentine will continue Saturday, March 4, from 10–11 a.m. on Zoom only, at This month’s topic is “What to be Doing in the March Edible Garden” and will include information on everything you ever wanted to know about starting your own plants from seed. Participants are encouraged to bring all their edible garden questions to share.

March 6: Herb Gardening Class
An Herb Gardening Class will be held at on March 6 at 1 p.m. at the West Sacramento Community Center located at 1075 West Capitol Ave., West Sacramento. If you want to learn about starting and maintaining an herb garden, this is the class. For more information, please contact UCCE Yolo County Master Gardener Janet Branaman at

March 11: Gardening for Year-Round Meals
The regular monthly Saturday morning meeting of “Gardening for Year-Round Meals” will continue March 11, from 11 a.m. to Noon, at Grace Garden, located behind the Methodist Church at 1620 Anderson Rd., Davis. This month’s workshop will be led by UCCE Yolo County Master Gardener Pam McCabe, who will discuss what vegetables, fruits, and herbs to plant in March, along with March gardening tasks and how to incorporate March harvests into nutritious, seasonal meals. Participants will receive recipes, plus tips on controlling powdery mildew and growing edible flowers. Gardening for Year-Round Meals meets on the second Saturday of every month, at 11 a.m. For more information, contact Pam McCabe at

On March 4 and 18, Master Gardeners will host a Gardening Questions and Answers Desk at the Lowes in West Sacramento (2250 Lake Washington Blvd.) from 10 a.m. to Noon.

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