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Plants and Pest Problems: Links

Other Garden Websites


February Garden Chores

Interactive Vegetable Planting Calendar

Tomato Gardening Basics

Choosing and Planting Bare Root Fruit Trees

Plants to Attract Beneficial Insects

Attracting Bees To Your Garden

Sacramento Area Planting Guide for Flower and Vegetable Seeds

Asian Citrus Psyllid Info and Video


Quick Clicks

CA Native Plants For Your Area of CA

Plant Lists Categorized by their Water Needs

Dave's Garden Plant Search

National Pesticide Information Center

Roses For Shade

The Top Ten Roses for Sacramento

100 Roses for the Valley and Foothills

Vegetable Planting Calendar

Storing Fruits and Vegetables

Tomato Taste Test Trials

Fruit Tree Varieties

Nut Tree Varieties

Fruit & Nut Harvest Dates

Fruit Taste Test Winners

Citrus Tree Info

Plants that Attract Beneficial Insects

Plants to Attract Pollinating Insects

20 Great Trees for the Sacramento Area

Small Trees for Small Yards

Shade Tree Selection Guide

Weather Websites

Fertilizer Ingredients (by brand)

Farmer Fred's 10 Garden Rules


The Drought and Your Garden

CA Native Plants Localized for Your Town:

Low Water Plant Trials: Results

Sacramento Smart Irrigation Scheduler

Gardening With Limited Water

Water Efficient Plants for Sacramento

Other Water Efficient Plant Resources

EPA Guide to Water-Smart Landscapes

Water-Wise CA Regional Garden Sites

Tips For Growing Native Plants



Tomato Gardening: Tips and Hints

Tomato Gardening Basics

Tomato Troubleshooting Tips

Blossom End Rot on Tomatoes

 Recipes for Your Home Grown Produce

Help Plants Beat the Heat

Grow your Own Popcorn !

How To Grow Giant Pumpkins
 Growing Winter Vegetables

Fruit Facts from the CA Rare Fruit Growers

Fruit and Nut Links from UC

Avocado Trees for Northern California?

How to Increase the Size of Your Table Grapes

How To Get Bigger Fruit From Your Fruit Trees

Citrus Tips from the Pros

UC: Growing Blueberries in the Sacramento Region

Blueberries for the Valley

Fruit Tree Care Calendar

Plant a Fruit Tree...Or Two!

Choosing and Planting Bare Root Fruit Trees

U.C. Davis Tips on Fruit Tree Pruning & Training

How To Prune Overgrown Deciduous Fruit Trees


Fall is Lawn Renovation Time

Best Soil Temperatures for Vegetable Seeds

Why Rotate Your Crops?

 Sacramento Area
Planting Guide for 
Flower and Vegetable 

Growing Fall/Winter Vegetables

Plants for Late Fall/Winter Color

Greenhouse Tomatoes in 
the Fall/Winter

Plants to Attract Beneficial Insects

Attracting Bees To Your Garden

UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars

 Easy Care Plants 
for Privacy

20 Great Trees for the Sacramento Area

Small Trees for 
Small Yards
                  Pruning Q&A's
Frost, Freeze Tips

Protecting Plants from Frost or Freeze

The Quick Guide: When a Frost is Forecast

Frost Protection for Citrus and Other Subtropical Plants

After a Freeze: What Should You Do in the Garden? 
Growing Winter Vegetables
Plants for Late Fall / Winter Color
Frost/Freeze Tips For Citrus
Best Soil Temperatures for Vegetable Seeds
Why Rotate Your Crops?
Plant a Fruit Tree...Or Two!
Choosing and Planting Bare Root Fruit Trees
Threat to Citrus Trees: the Asian Citrus Psyllid
Christmas Tree Care
Plants for Late Fall / Winter Color

Rose Pruning, California Style

Roses For Shade

The Top Ten Roses for Sacramento

100 Roses for the Valley and Foothills

Rose Planting Basics 


How Much Water Does Your Lawn and Garden Really Need?

Plant Lists Categorized by their Water Needs

Soil Solarization

Growing Fall/Winter Vegetables

Greenhouse Tomatoes in the Fall/Winter

Plants to Attract Beneficial Insects

Attracting Bees To Your Garden

20 Great Trees for the Sacramento Area

Small Trees for Small Yards

Hiring an Arborist: Tips from the Sacramento Tree Foundation

Landscaping Tips

UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars

Easy Care Plants for Privacy
 Shows for the Nose: Other Fragrant Plants

Deer Resistant Plants (Alleged)



The Garden "Good Guys"

Plants to Attract Beneficial Insects

Attracting Bees To Your Garden


Free Publications From UC's Farm and Garden Experts 



20 Great Trees for the Sacramento Area

Small Trees for Small Yards

Hiring an Arborist: Tips from the Sacramento Tree Foundation

Finding an ISA-Certified Arborist

After the storm: Leaning Trees Need Your Attention, Now!

Oak Tree Care

Planting Under Oaks

Pruning Q&A's

Christmas Tree Care


More Garden Features

Lifetime Master Gardener Fred Hoffman is the host of the "KFBK Garden
Show" on 1530-AM/93.1-FM KFBK in Sacramento, California each Sunday
morning from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Pacfic Time, followed by "Get Growing" on
Talk 650 KSTE in Sacramento, 10 a.m. to Noon. At noon, it's the KSTE Farm Hour.
And, you can listen to all the shows, live, via the and websites.
Available as podcasts!
Previous editions of "The KFBK Garden Show" and "Get Growing".
Plus, for news about California agriculture, it's the KSTE Farm Hour.
Podcast links for Itunes users: KFBK Garden Show and Get Growing
Southern Sacramento and Northern San Joaquin County gardeners can also
get current gardening information from Fred in his Saturday gardening column
in the Lodi News-Sentinel.; also available at the Farmer Fred Rant! Blog page.


Feb. 12: Quentyn Young - Fair Oaks Blvd. Nursery: "Shopping for Warm Weather Plants Now"; Shannon Gordon - Sac Co. Master Gardener: "Events at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center"
Feb 19: Steve Zien - Living Resources Co.: "Thwarting the spread of garden diseases, organically.." Warren Roberts - UC Davis Arboretum: "The Showy Plants of Winter"
Feb. 26: Debbie Flower - Horticulture Professor: "Late Winter Garden Advice"
Mar. 5: Lauren McCrary - Green Acres Nursery and Supply : "Winter Houseplant Care"
A Clue for the Garden Grappler

Visit the Farmer Fred Rant Blog Page for These Garden Tips and More:


Some Vegetables Require Less Water Than Others

Interactive Vegetable Planting Calendar

Planting Your First Vegetable Garden? Some Tips

Will Those Green Tomatoes Turn Red This Fall?

Before You Plant, Check the Soil Temperature

Make Your Own Planting Mix

Starting Tomatoes, Peppers From Seed

More Tips on Starting Tomatoes from Seed

Pepper Seeds Slow to Germinate? Some Tips

Heirloom Vegetables Are Better For You

Tomato Troubleshooter

Crop Rotation Plan for the Home Garden

Crop Rotation for the Garden, Pt. 2

The Hazards of Overfeeding Your Plants 

Hand-Pollinating Squash Plants

How to Grow Giant Pumpkins

Grow Your Own Popcorn



Avocado Trees for Sacramento? A Guide

Why Are My Oranges Splitting?

Frost/Freeze Protection Ideas for Citrus

Choosing and Planting Bare Root Fruit Trees

Mulch Under a Citrus Tree: Pros and Cons

Bareroot Fruit Tree Shopping? Buyer Beware!

Harvest Fruits By Look and Feel, Not the Calendar

Know Your Fruit Tree Rootstocks

Growing Blueberries in Container

Anatomy of a Professional Fruit Tasting

Why Are the Blackberries Turning White?


Bad Bugs, Diseases, Weeds:

Battling Tomato Hornworms

Every Season is Ant Season

The Green Fruit Beetles Are Back

Why are Blackberries Turning White?


A Cure for the Cherry Maggot?

Controlling Snails and Slugs

Peach Leaf Curl: It's Back!

Battling Peach Leaf Curl

Battling Sooty Mold & Scale on Citrus

Controlling Fungus Gnats on Houseplants

Crane Flies vs. Mosquitoes

Leaf Spot Problem? Here's What to Do

Cat Proofing Your Garden

Yellowjacket Fun Facts! Control Tips, Too

Weedkillers: Read the Label!



How To Find Garden Answers Online

Garden Shoes...or Gardening Shoes?

The Garden Good Guys:

Plants that Attract Beneficial Insects

Bring on the Bees!

Plants to Attract Pollinating Insects

This Blog is for the Birds

The Good Bug Hotel

What's Killing the Bees? A New Study Offers Clues

Landscaping, Lawns, Flowers

Getting the Yard Ready for a Rain and Wind Storm

Watering Tips for Drip Irrigation

A Tour of Maple Rock Gardens

The Heart-Healthy Garden

Plants for Privacy

The Cure for Non-Performing Daffodils

WELO is coming. Start Planning to Save Water Now

Plants Wilting in the Heat? Check Before You Water

Water-Saving Tips For Your Yard

Get Rid of Your Lawn with Soil Solarization

How to Kill Your Lawn in 2 Easy Steps

Droopy Plants on a Hot Day. Water...or Not?


Trees and Shrubs

How To Stake a New Tree

Holy Jumping Oak Galls, Batman!


 Fall & Winter:

Rain Draining Strategies to Save Your Home and Garden

Winter Storms and Tree Troubles

What to Do AFTER a Hard Freeze

What to Do When a Hard Freeze is Forecast

New Year's Resolutions for Gardeners

Persimmons: THE Edible Ornamental of Fall

Innovative Peach Leaf Curl Controls

Frost, Freezes Ahead. Get Your Yard Ready

After a Freeze, What Should a Gardener Do?

Fall-Winter Houseplant Care Tips

Drain the Rain Away from the House & Garden

Get Your Garden Storm-Ready

What to Do in Your Yard AFTER the Storm

Tips for the Fall-Winter Vegetable Garden

Add Color for the Cold, Gray Days of Winter

 Winter Storms and Trees: Inspect Them Now!

How to Grow Oak Trees from Acorns

What NOT to do in the Garden in Fall

Dead Foliage Now? Leaf it Alone!

Problem Plants

Have Horses? Avoid These Plants!

Safe Plants for You, But They're Poison to Your Pets

Mistletoe Control Tips


Garden Data (thru Feb. 11, 2017)

Avg. evapotranspiration rate this past week : .15" valley; .08" foothills.

Soil Temperature: 52-54 (F) valley. 53 (F) low foothills. 46 (F) upper foothills.

Click Here for more Information about soil temperature and evapotranspiration rates

Chilling hours/portions (hours at 32-45 degrees-F, necessary for deciduous fruit tree production)

Nov. 1, 2016 - Feb. 11, 2017: Chill Hours: 670-750 valley; 792-1148 foothills. Chill Portions: 54-60 valley; 61-77 foothills.

What is a "Chill Hour", what is a "Chill Portion"?

Chill Portion Requirements for selected fruit and nut varieties

Nov. 1, 2015-Feb. 29, 2016:

Valley: Chill Hours: 714-896 . Chill Portions: 68-74.

Foothills: Chill Hours: 744-1360. Chill Portions: 73-85

Nov. 1, 2014-Feb. 28, 2015:

Valley: 444-805 chill hours; 61-69 chill portions.

Foothills: 380-1095 chill hours; 65-85 chill portions

Nov. 1, 2013 - Feb. 28, 2014:

Valley (Sac., SJ, Yolo, Sutter, Solano Cos.): 868-1230 hours

Foothills (Amador, El Dorado, Placer Cos.): 567-1129 hours 

2012-2013 Chill Season Totals: VALLEY: 1028-1325 hours; FOOTHILLS: 877-1863 hours


Wondering when is the right time to plant?

The online Farmer Fred Interactive Vegetable Planting Calendar for Northern California is for you! Click on each vegetable for specific planting information.

Also, download the printable planting calendar.


Looking for lists and pictures of plants that don't require much water? Go to:

Water-Wise Gardening Websites

This is a project undertaken in conjunction with the municipalities and water districts in many California locales. The website has a wealth of local residential photography and plant information to help homeowners improve their garden in a water efficient way.

Sacramento, El Dorado and Placer residents: click on the link - Be Water Smart .

Find a Green Gardener-certified landscaper near you:
WHEN:    Sat February 18, 2017, from 3:00-5:00 pm
WHERE:  Turner Library, located at 1212 Merkely Ave., West Sacramento
TOPIC:    A free workshop will be held by the YOLO COUNTY UC MASTER GARDENERS to answer questions about waterwise landscaping, and discuss how to plant a lovely, low-water garden.
For more information contact 530-666-8737 or
WHEN:    Sun February 19, 2017, from 2:00-4:00 pm
WHERE: Mary L. Stephens Library located at 315 E. 14th Street, Davis
TOPIC:   YOLO COUNTY UC MASTER GARDENERS will be on hand to answer questions and discuss spring tree care, planting spring cool-weather gardens, and other topics of interest.
For more information contact 530-666-8737 or 
WHEN:  Thursday, February 23, 2017     7:00 pm
WHAT:   Current Trends for California Gardeners
WHERE: Sacramento Perennial Plant Club, Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento
Debbie Arrington, garden writer for The Sacramento Bee will speak on what's hot and what's not for California gardeners.  For more information contact 916-823-5500.
WHEN:   Sat February 25, 2017, there are 2 free workshops by YOLO COUNTY UC MASTER GARDENERS
               FROM 9:30-10:30 am
TOPIC:   Information on caring and feeding citrus trees, and how to grow citrus year round.  You will also learn about the varieties of citrus available and how to handle pest and disease problems.
WHERE: Central Park Gardens, in Davis, located at the corner of Third and B Streets
               FROM 11:00 to noon
TOPIC:   Choosing, growing and caring for houseplants and orchids.  Prevention and control of plant diseases will also be discussed.
WHERE: Central Park Gardens, at the corner of Third and B Streets, Davis
Saturday Feb 25 Pruning for Next Years' Fabulous Rose Display The timing of rose pruning in our county is critical.  If you are a novice or need a review of the "whys, whens and hows" of rose pruning this class is for you.  Join Master Gardener Eve Keener for a workshop on this art and grow roses your neighbors will envy!  Rain Date:  March 4th   FREE CLASS 1:00 pm -3:00 pm Sherwood Demonstration Garden, 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville UCCE Master Gardeners of El Dorado County
Sat. February 25, 2017
Plant Propagation 
Get ready for your springtime garden by learning the best practices for getting your vegetables off to a successful start. Seed starting and using plant cuttings to clone new plants is one of the most exciting and interesting facets of being a gardener. This class, "Plant Propagation", on Sat. February 25, 2017 will include an informative lecture followed by hands-on practice under the supervision of UCCE Master Gardeners. 
Bring seeds or cuttings (keep cuttings damp) for a plant you wish to start. Some seeds and cuttings as well as hand-outs will be available.  The class is free and open to the public. However, we are asking that you call 209-223-6838 or email  to make reservations. Please leave your name and the number attending. All classes are held in the GSA building at 12200-B Airport Rd. in Jackson from 9am to Noon.
For questions, call the UCCE Master Gardeners of Amador County at the UC Cooperative Extension Office from 10am to noon, Tuesday through Thursday, 223-6838 or email  Website:    
WHEN:    Sun February 26, 2017, from 2:00-4:00 PM
WHERE:  Mary L. Stephens Library, small conference room, located at 315 E. 14th Street., Davis
TOPIC:    A free class will be presented by the YOLO COUNTY UC MASTER GARDENERS on planting winter vegetables, starting seeds indoors for spring planting, feeding citrus, adding compost to the garden, and harvesting your winter garden.
For more information contact 530-666-8737 or
Sat. March 25 10a-4p
The Sacramento Perennial Plant Club will present the 15th annual Vendor Sale on Sat. March 25, 2017 at the Shepard Garden & Art Center in McKinley Park, 3330 McKinley Ave, Sacramento.. As in the past, we have nurseries and growers in the Greater Sacramento area at our event. We also host makers of garden related items. Robin Parer of Geraniaceae Nursery in Kentfield will be the guest speaker. She is an expert on hardy geraniums. .Her talk will be at noon. She will also be selling plants. The event is free to the public. For more info:

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Date Last Modified: 2/11/17
© 2016 Fred Hoffman

"Farmer Fred": is a registered trademark of Fred Hoffman