Spring into April gardening events with Master Gardener — Yolo

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By Denise Cottrell
Special to the Express

The atypical rainy weather has brought gardeners some new challenges regarding the preparation of garden beds and planting. Don’t hesitate to purchase new plants, however, wait a few days between rain showers for the soil to dry out before planting. A quick soil test helps you to determine when the soil is ready.

Use a trowel to dig up a small amount of soil, then squeeze it in your hand. If it sticks together in a ball, it is too wet. Wait a few days for the garden bed soil to dry, and then try again. When the soil crumbles in your hand and falls through your fingers your bed is ready for planting. And while you are waiting for the right soil conditions, attend one of this month’s UCCE Yolo Master Gardeners’ plant sales, talks, or workshops. The free events provide the University of California with research-based information and assistance to all home gardeners.

Winters event
Attend a UCCE Yolo Master Gardener Plant Sale to find the perfect new plants for your garden or vegetable starts for your summer edible garden. The second annual UCCE Yolo Master Gardener Plant Sale in Winters takes place at the Winters Community Library Teaching Garden (708 Railroad Ave.) on Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This event is a collaboration of three community organizations: The Master Gardeners of Yolo County, Winters Friends of the Library (WFoL), and students from the Winters High School “Introduction to Agriculture” classes.

Attend this cash or check-only sale and support 3 local organizations. The sale will feature plants from Morningstar Herb Farms of Vacaville and for your vegetable garden, the Winters High School Agriculture Class will be selling tomato and pepper starts. To complement the plant sale, WFoL will have its book cart available with a variety of cookbooks, gardening books, and nature books for sale.

Yolo County events
The UCCE Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale at Woodland Community College. will be held on the first two Saturdays, April 1 and April 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Shade House/Greenhouse area of the campus, 2300 Gibson Rd., Woodland. This cash or check-only plant sale will feature plants from three organizations. The UCCE Yolo Master Gardeners will offer heirloom tomatoes and perennial drought-tolerant landscape plants. The students of Woodland Community College and Woodland High School will offer a variety of vegetable starter plants.

Action in the Garden: Kitchen Garden Chat meets every first Saturday of the month via Zoom. Don’t miss April’s meeting on Saturday, April 1 from 10–11 a.m. (https://ucanr.zoom.us/j/98028723763). These monthly chats, led by Master Gardener Treva Valentine, provide a forum to have your questions and concerns about the edible garden answered by a Master Gardener. April’s chat will provide information on growing veggies in containers and tips on how to deal with springtime garden pests.

Starting Seeds and Planting Starts is the topic for the Yolo Master Gardener/Yolo Library Workshop offered on Thursday, April 13, from 3–4 p.m. It is not too late to start your annuals and perennials for the spring and summer seasons. Attend this free workshop via Zoom( https://yolocounty.zoom.us/j/
83899615479) and Master Gardener Mike Kluk will guide you through all the dos and don’ts of starting seeds and planting starts.

Sustainable Gardening is the topic for the April 27 Master Gardener/Yolo Library Workshop. Join in via Zoom (https://yolocounty.zoom.us/j/
81855490863) from 3 to 4 p.m. to learn how to look at gardening from a sustainable lens. The City of Davis Conservation Coordinators Dawn Calciano and Jennifer Gilbert will discuss ways to create and maintain a sustainable landscape by optimizing your water use, choosing the right plants, keeping rainwater onsite, cultivating healthy soils, reducing waste, and managing yard materials.

For more information about Master Gardener/Yolo Library workshops offered on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, contact Jennifer Baumbach at jmbaumbach@ucanr.edu or Joan Tuss at Joan.Tuss@yolocounty.org.

If you are out and about and would like to talk to a Master Gardener in person, this month’s Master Gardeners Help Desk at the Davis Farmers’ Market will be available at Central Park in Davis at 4th and C Streets (near the Central Park Gardens) between the Rose and Sensory Gardens from 8 a.m. to Noon. In addition, Master Gardeners will be available on April 1 and April 15 for West Sacramento Gardening Questions and Answers Desk to be held at Lowes, West Sacramento, 2250 Lake Washington Blvd, West Sac, from 10 a.m. to Noon.

More information about the UCCE Master Gardeners of Yolo County can be found online at http://yolomg.ucanr.edu/. For further information about events or for information about a specific garden issue call or email the Master Gardener hotline at 530-666-8736 or mgyolo@ucdavis.edu and leave a message, and someone will get back to you.

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