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Plants and Pest Problems: Links

Other Garden Websites


July Garden Chores

Interactive Vegetable Planting Calendar

Plants to Attract Beneficial Insects

Attracting Bees To Your Garden

Tomato Gardening: Tips and Hints

Tomato Gardening Basics

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

Plants For Dry Shade

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

Growing Caneberries in the Sacramento Region

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, too!
Previous editions of "The KFBK Garden Show" and "Get Growing".
Plus, for news about California agriculture, it's the KSTE Farm Hour.
New Podcast links for Itunes podcast users:
KFBK Garden Show
Get Growing
KSTE Farm Hour
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.


July 15: Steve Zien, Living Resources Company, Citrus Heights: "How Plants Communicate" "Bring On the Garden Good Guys"; Warren Roberts - UCD Arboretum

July 22: Listener questions.

July 29: Sacramento County Master Gardeners preview Harvest Day at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center on Saturday, Aug. 4.

A Clue for the Garden Grappler

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


Planting Your First Vegetable Garden? Some Tips

Terrific Tomato Tips

Some Vegetables Require Less Water Than Others

Interactive Vegetable Planting Calendar

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


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?

Tips for a Healthy Heart and Thwarting Type 2 Diabetes

The Garden Good Guys:

4 Plants to Attract Pollinators and Beneficials

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

Fall Lawn Renovation

Plants For Dry Shade

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 (through July 14, 2018)

Avg. evapotranspiration rate this past week : 1.9" valley; 1.9-2.0" foothills.

Soil Temperature: 73-79 (F) valley. 76(F) low foothills. 67(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.-Feb.)

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

Chill Portion Requirements for selected fruit and nut varieties


Nov. 1, 2017 - Feb. 28, 2018:

Chill Hours: 762-905 valley; 618-1115 foothills. Chill Portions: 67-75 valley; 72-84 foothills.

Nov. 1, 2016 - Feb. 28, 2017:

Chill Hours: 796-933 valley; 900-1350 foothills. Chill Portions: 65-75 valley; 74-93 foothills.

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:


Farmer Fred's Ride for the Kids, Saturday October 6
I'm getting ready for a long bike ride...for a great cause. The Sacramento Century Challenge is coming up Saturday, October 6, 2018. This 100-mile, fund-raising bike ride is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sacramento, and they are directing your donations to a very worthwhile, local group: the Sacramento Children's Home and their Crisis Nursery Program (
Their Crisis Nursery Program helps out the most vulnerable in our population: children in need of a safe haven. And that includes our immigrant population, as well.
Todd Koolakian of the Sacramento Children's Home told me recently: 'Our organization is committed to helping the most vulnerable children and families in the Sacramento community, which includes immigrants of all different backgrounds (both documented and undocumented), the homeless, foster youth, and other low income and underserved populations. With that said, we have not been specifically involved with reuniting children separated during the current border crisis. That doesn't mean we couldn't sometime in the future, but our services are mostly provided in Sacramento County."
I plan on riding the full 100 miles, despite being: a) 67 years old; b) a diabetic; and c) a member of the Zipper Club (slang for those of us who have had our chests cut open for heart surgery, in my case quadruple arterial bypass surgery).
So, here's the deal: please make a donation to this worthy cause. If, for some reason, I am not successful at riding the full 100 miles, I will match your donations to the Sacramento Children's Home and their Crisis Nursery Program. Deal?
Donate here:
Hey, maybe I'll see you Saturday, October 6. Want to ride in the Sacramento Century? Details here: .You don't have to ride the 100 miler. Other ride choices include 63, 36 and 16 miles. Just be sure to say, "On your left!" when you pass me!
Follow my training progress on Strava
Sat. July 14, 2018  9a-3p
Sustainable Organic Gardening
Shingle Springs Rancheria (5281 Honpie Rd, Placerville CA 95667).
To learn more and to pre-register, please visit our website or call (530)-621-5528. 
The UCCE Master Gardeners of El Dorado County are holding a new workshop titled Sustainable Organic Gardening, to be held on July 14, 2018, at the Shingle Springs Rancheria (5281 Honpie Rd, Placerville CA 95667). 
For this fun and dynamic day, Master Gardeners are collaborating with the Master Food Preservers and the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians to offer a menu of seven topics related to sustainable home gardening. These include: traditional native plant uses, soil health, composting, beneficial plants and insects, organic plant care through integrated pest management, seed saving, and food preservation. Farm Advisor Scott Oneto will provide a keynote, then attendees will circulate through three, hour-long sections of their choice.
Doors open at 8:30am and the workshop begins promptly at 9:00am, finishing at 3:00pm. A light lunch, handouts, and samples (including surprise food treats and special zucchini preserves) are included in the $25 registration fee. Registration closes on July 10th, so please register early to ensure a seat in your preferred sections. We encourage all ages to attend, from mature high school students through elders.
Sustainable Organic Gardening will help you develop a backyard food source that's cost-effective, improves your family's nutrition and food security, and offers a healthy hobby for the whole family. Whether you have a patio container garden or a quarter acre to farm, you can grow an abundance of healthy, delicious food through sustainable organic gardening practices.
Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15, 9a - 3p
Annual Rhizome Sale presented by the Sacramento Iris Society
Sacramento Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd.
The Sacramento Iris Society will be holding a two day sale of recently dug iris rhizomes on Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15, at the Sacramento Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd.  Hours are from 9 until 3. 
Hundreds of varieties will be available. 
Each specimen will be labeled with the cultivar name and a description of the flower appearance.  Again we will have a large selection of rebloomers, which have an extended bloom season. 
A demonstration table will be set up to show how rhizomes should be planted.  A labeling station will allow you to prepare a free permanent garden label for each of your rhizome purchases before you leave. 
Remember that irises are both deer and drought resistant which makes them ideal additions to your garden.
WHEN: Thursday, July 19, 2018, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
WHAT: Free Ask the Master Gardeners Information Table at Florin Certified Farmers Market
WHERE: 5901 Florin Road, Sacramento 95823
For More Information:
UC Cooperative Extension, (916) 875-6913 or go to or
Finding unique challenges in your garden?  Do you want to know what those bugs are in your garden?  UCCE Master Gardeners have the answers.
Bring samples of your problem plants or insects to the UCCE Master Gardeners Information Table.  We will help you find sustainable solutions to your gardening questions
Saturday, August 4, 8a-2p
Harvest Day at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center
Free Event
WHERE: Horticulture Center, 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks, CA  95628
For More Information:
UC Cooperative Extension, (916) 875-6913,,
Join the UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County at Sacramento's ultimate gardening event featuring mini-talks on Mason bees, succulents, vineyard pests and worm composting.  Celebrated horticultural personalities Fred Hoffman, Karey Windbiel-Rojas and Quentyn Young headline the speakers' tent.  Visit with 30+ community organizations, enjoy the expanded vendor area, see demonstration gardens and taste grape varieties.
Purchase your 2019 Calendar and visit the neighboring Fair Oaks Community Garden.  Best of all, there are UCCE Master Gardeners on site to answer gardening questions.
Saturday, August 4th
The UCCE Tuolumne County Master Gardeners will be holding an Open Garden Day at the Demonstration Garden on Saturday, August 4th, from 10AM &endash; 1PM.  The Demonstration Garden is located at 251 S. Barretta Street in Sonora, (Cassina High School Campus.)  Open Garden Days are held on the first Saturday of the month, from February through November.
This month we will discuss Food Dehydration with the Master Food Preservers.
Find answers to your home gardening questions, including plant and pest problems.  When the garden is not open, home gardening assistance is offered by UCCE Master Gardeners through the help line at: 209-533-5912.  The public may leave a message regarding a problem and a UCCE Master Gardener will return the call, or email your question to us at
The Demonstration Garden is a project of the UCCE Tuolumne County Master Gardeners, whose primary goal is to educate the public about home gardening.  Proceeds from plant sales support the UCCE Master Gardeners' education programs and maintenance of the Demonstration Garden. For additional details contact the UC Cooperative Extension office at (209) 533-5695 or visit the UC Cooperative Extension website:

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Date Last Modified: 7/14/18
© 2018 Fred Hoffman

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