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Plants and Pest Problems: Links

Other Garden Websites


April Garden Chores

May Garden Chores

Sacramento Area Planting Guide for Flower and Vegetable Seeds

Asian Citrus Psyllid Info and Video

Tomato Gardening: Tips and Hints

Tomato Gardening Basics

Quick Clicks

Sunset Plant Finder

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

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 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".
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.
New! The KSTE Farm Hour podcast.
High Hand University presents the Professor Farmer Fred Podcast Page
Garden Podcasts, recorded with a live audience at High Hand Nursery, Loomis. Visit the High Hand website to find out how you can attend and be part of the fun!


Apr. 26: Debbie Flower, American River College Horticulture Professor: "Mid-Spring Garden Advice"
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

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:

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:

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 Apr 24, 2015)

Avg. evapotranspiration rate this past week : 1.3" valley; 1.3" foothills.

Soil Temperature: 59-67 (F) valley. 66 (F) low foothills. 55 (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, from Nov.-Feb.)

Nov. 1-Feb. 28, 2015:

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

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

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

Chill Hours vs. Chill Portions, 2013-2014, part 1

Chill Hours vs. Chll Portions, 2013-2014, part 2

Chill Portion Requirements for selected fruit and nut varieties

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

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 & Central 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:
 Saturday, April 25: See You At High Hand Nursery, 3750 Taylor Rd in Loomis at 11 am. Ed Laivo and I will be talking "All About Citrus", including caring for your orange, lemon, lime, mandarin trees and more during a drought. And, a free citrus tasting too! And we will delve into the secrets of growing avocado trees in Sacramento. (Hint: good luck!)
to Support the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden
Saturdays, April 25 & May 16 (clearance sale)
9 a.m. - 1 p.m., UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery
(Garrod Drive near La Rue Road, across from Vet Med), UC Davis campus
We know that many homeowners out there are in the process of developing their "New Front Yard" by replacing high-water use plants with low-water alternatives. That's why at our spring sales are going to have the area's largest selection of attractive, drought-tolerant, easy-care, region-appropriate plants including California natives and Arboretum All-Stars.These plant sales are open to the public, but members receive 10% off their purchases; new members receive an additional $10 off as a thank you for joining. Not a member? Call ahead or join at the door. The benefits of membership far outweigh your cost! For more information on the benefits of membership visit: The event is free; parking is free and available in nearby parking lots. For more information and directions, visit or call (530) 752-4880.
April 25-26
Spring Home and Garden Show
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Road           
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Join the Nevada County Master Gardeners at the Home and Garden Show. We will be there to answer all your gardening questions and share valuable research-based gardening information. Bring samples for pest identification or plant identification in plastic bags. Looks for the friendly Master Gardeners in the booth with the colorful and beautiful plants!
Saturday and Sunday, May 2nd & 3rd 
Your Sustainable Backyard: Rose Days, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Foundation Plant Services, 455 Hopkins Road UC Davis campus
Join the California Center for Urban Horticulture for a gorgeous weekend of roses and rose-related events! The event is free and open to the public. The weekend includes tours, information booths and a rose sale. Saturday will feature special guest speakers for a rose program.  
The event is free; parking is available at Foundation Plant Services on the corner of Hopkins Road and Straloch.  Signs and balloons will help you find your way. For more information and directions, as well as to view the Rose Catalog visit
Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3, 2015
Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society Show & Sale, Shepard Garden
and Art Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95816
Saturday, May 2: 9 am &endash; 5 pm (plant sale), 10 am &endash; 5 pm (exhibition)
Sunday, May 3: 9 am &endash; 4 pm (plant sale & exhibition)
The 55th annual show features plant collections and displays by professionals and members and is an outstanding venue for learning more about succulents. The public is invited to view judged displays of these interesting plants. Vendors will offer a large selection of plants for sale both days and can offer advice for their use and care. Decorative containers will also be for sale. Admission and parking is free and a free plant will be given each day to the first 50 guests.
For more information, please visit
Sat. May 2, 2015
Build a Raised Garden Bed
10:00 AM to Noon
NID Business Center Grounds
1036 West Main Street
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Raised garden beds overcome poor soil and drainage issues, help control pests and can extend the growing season.
·         Learn how to plan and orient your raised beds
·         Discover how to prepare the site and what skills are needed to construct the beds
·         Explore materials to use and what tools are needed
•       Delve into different designs for raised beds that suit your needs best
Tuesday, May 5, 10 am to 2 pm
Maidu Community Center, 1550 Maidu Drive, off of Rocky Ridge between Cirby Way and Douglas Boulevard, in Roseville
We will be featuring unique miniature gardens, plants, and garden related items. This is a perfect opportunity to pick up that Mother's Day gift.  The Roseville Better Gardens club is a non-profit educational organization which is sponsoring this event as its primary fund raiser.  Please come and shop to support our club.  Come early for best selection.  
Sat. May 9, 2015
Annual Spring Plant Sale
9:00 AM to Noon
NID Business Center Grounds
1036 West Main Street
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Spring is in full swing and the Nevada County Master Gardeners are hosting their annual Spring Plant Sale!
·         A host of various plant species and sizes will be offered including ornamentals, vegetables, fruits, berries, annuals, and perennials
·         Locally propagated by Master Gardeners and Sierra Foothills ready!
·         Many native plants available that use less water and require less maintenance
·         Get there early! Cash and checks accepted
Saturday, MAY 9th, 2015
9:00am - 4:00pm
Sacramento Geranium Club Plant Sale
Shepard Garden & Arts Center
3330 McKinley Boulevard
Sacramento 95816
WHEN: Saturday, May 9, 2015 
WHAT:  Two free workshops for gardeners
WHERE:  Woodland Community College located at 2300 E. Gibson Road, Woodland 
DETAILS:  First workshop is 9-10:00 am on  Managing Pests in Your Garden
                  Second workshop is 10-11:00 am on Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden 
CONTACT: For more information you can contact Yolo County Master Gardeners, UC Cooperative Extension 530-666-8143
Date:  Mother's Day Weekend, May 9 & 10
Event:  17th Annual East Sacramento Garden Tour
10am - 4pm Saturday and Sunday
Tour seven beautiful and inspiring gardens in and around Sacramento's "Fabulous Forties" neighborhood.  Enjoy a delicious catered luncheon at Sutter Lawn Tennis Club.  Shop at our artisan boutique, eat at a food truck, enjoy the Sacramento Children's Museum pop-up shop, and grab a bite at the Sweet Stop.  All proceeds benefit David Lubin Elementary School student enrichment programs and school gardens.
Tickets: available online and at retail locations
Tour $20 through May 8 ; $25 weekend of event 
Luncheon Tickets:  $15
For more information visit:
Wednesdays, May 13 and June 10
12-1 p.m., UC Davis Arboretum Gazebo, UC Davis campus
 Join Warren Roberts, the Superintendent Emeritus of the Arboretum, famous storyteller, and punster for an always-engaging noontime exploration of spring at the UC Davis Arboretum's west-end gardens. The event is free; limited, free one-hour parking is available along Garrod Drive near the Gazebo or in nearby Visitor Parking Lot 55 where parking can be paid by meter or by purchase of a $9 daily pass. For more information and directions, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit
Saturday, May 16, 2015
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Event: Lean how to attract beneficial insects.  Orchard activities include fruit tree bud grafting.  Watch us thin grapes in the vineyard.  Gather irrigation tips and ideas for replacing lawns with water efficient plants.  Watch a brief demonstration on straw bale gardening.  There will be plenty of Master Gardeners available to answer your questions and diagnose your samples. Observe on-going compost and worm composting demonstrations.Located outside.
Location: Horticulture Center, 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks, CA  95628
South of Madison, in Fair Oaks Park, next to the Library
Cost: Free
For More Info: UC Cooperative Extension, (916) 875-6913 or go to
WHEN:   Saturday, May 30, 2015  10:30 - 11:30 am
WHAT:     How to Compost Chicken Manure
WHERE:  Central Park Garden at corner of Third and B Streets, Davis
DETAILS: In collaboration with the Davis "Tour de Cluck" celebration, the Yolo County Master Gardener program will demonstrate techniques to generate a rich compost from chicken manure and other garden waste.  The workshop is free
Sat. May 30, 2015
Growing Plants in Greenhouses- the Agony and Ecstasy
10:00 AM to Noon
NID Business Center Grounds
1036 West Main Street
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Growing in a greenhouse allows gardeners to garden year-round. Get the inside scoop on the benefits and drawbacks of greenhouse growing.
·         Explore the types of plants and usage suited for greenhouse gardening
·         Learn the basics of greenhouse watering, temperature, ventilation and pest control
·         Discover how to handle problems you may encounter in your greenhouse.
·         Get tips on how to avoid turning your greenhouse into a storage shed

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Date Last Modified: 4/24/15
© 2015 Fred Hoffman

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