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Plants and Pest Problems: Links

Other Garden Websites


April 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

Tomato Troubleshooting Tips

Blossom End Rot on Tomatoes

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

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, 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.
New! The KSTE Farm Hour podcast.


April 17: Debbie Arrington - Sacramento Bee Garden Writer and Consulting Rosarian: "Rose Show"; Warren Roberts - UCD Arboretum.
April 24: Don Shor - Redwood Barn Nursery, Davis: "Warm Season Vegetables, Flowers"
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. 23, 2016)

Avg. evapotranspiration rate this past week : 1.20" valley; 1.3" foothills.

Soil Temperature: 63 (F) valley. 65 (F) low foothills. 54 (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-Feb. 29, 2016:

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

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

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

Chill Portion Requirements for selected fruit and nut varieties

Nov. 1-Feb. 28, 2015:

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

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


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 23rd from 10am to 2 pm
Integrated Pest Management Advocate Steven Zien will staff an educational booth for Our Water Our World at West Sacramento's Earth Day event at City Hall, 1110 West Capitol Ave. Come meet some of Steve's friends, Lani Leatherwing, Pete Prayingmantid and others that help you manage pests without the need for pesticides. Learn from Steve what garden and pest management practices and products you can use to prevent pests and if they start causing a problem how to properly manage them. Keep those pesky pets from provoking potentially preposterous pest management procedures and instead discover new and exciting, eco-friendly and less-toxic options that will do a great job many of which will be on display.
Saturday April 23rd
SAVE THE DATE!   UCCE Master Gardeners of El Dorado County Plant Sale 8:00 am &endash; 3:00 pm New location this year:  Sherwood Demonstration Garden, 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville    Watch for details!
April 23- 24, 2016
Home & Garden Show -Nevada County Fairgrounds
Thursday-April 28, 2016  •  7:00 pm
Sacramento Perennial Plant Club 
April Speaker  Sue Fitz
Unusual and Distinctive Annuals 
Shepard Garden and Arts Center
As true with many child gardeners, the first plants Sue Fitz ever grew were annuals (larkspurs and African daisies). By the time she was a teenager, Sue grew bored with them and moved on to perennials. Settling in Davis after getting a degree in Plant Science at UCD, Sue was disappointed to find that perennials stopped flowering during the extreme heat of Valley summers, so her interest turned back to annuals once more. Perusing old library books on annuals, she discovered that there were dozens that had fallen out of favor with modern growers due to their height and loose growth habits, but she saw their potential for mixing with perennials to extend her border's season. Finally, finding sources for these forgotten plants from English seed catalogs, she began ordering and testing them in her garden, selecting out the ones that did well in the Sacramento Valley. Sue will discuss her favorites and sources for them, and plans to bring in samples from her garden for show and tell.
April 30, 2016
Container Gardening for Herbs, Vegetables, Flowers & More
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Master Gardener Demonstration Pavilion (on NID Grounds)
1036 W. Main Street - Grass Valley
May 3, Tuesday, from 10 am- 2 pm.
Who: Roseville Better Gardens Club
What: Annual Plant sale- Succulent Sale
Where: Maidu Community Center, 1550 Maidu Drive off of Rocky Ridge between Cirby Way and Douglas Blvd in Roseville.
Detail: A plant sale will be conducted featuring succulents, plants, and garden related items.  A perfect opportunity to shop for Mothers Day and Teacher Appreciation Day. Shop early for best selection.
May 7, 2016
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. - NCMG Demo Garden (on NID Grounds) 1036 W. Main Street in Grass Valley
The Nevada County Master Gardeners will hold their Annual Spring Plant sale on Saturday, May 7 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon in the NCMG Demo Garden.  With over 33 varieties of peppers, an over 79 varieties of tomatoes to choose from there will be something from everyone.  Lettuce, eggplant, herbs, ground cherry, broccoli, cucumbers and more, don't miss your opportunity to fill your garden with veggies of all types.
The Nevada County Master Gardeners (Nevada County Master Gardeners)
When:  Saturday, May 14, 2016, 10am - 1:00pm
What: Jams, Jellies & More presented by The Master Food Preservers of Amador and Calaveras Counties
Cost:  $5.00 payable at the door
Where: Amador County GSA Building, 12200-B Airport Road, Jackson, CA
Details: This 3-hour introductory class takes you through the process of making and canning jams and jellies.  We will discuss in detail the key ingredients: fruit choices, sugar and alternative sweeteners, the importance of lemon juice, and the role of pectin in thickening your preserves.  Step-by-step demonstrations include preparing fruit and other ingredients, followed by canning using both a boiling water and atmospheric steam canner.  Leave with several scientifically tested recipes and the knowledge and skill to safely can jams, jellies, and other high-acid foods in your kitchen.
When:  Saturday May 14th, 2016
Time:  9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Sacramento Geranium Club annual plant sale
Shepard Garden Center
3330 McKinley Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95816
Looking for rare or unusual geraniums? Don't miss this!
Thursday, June 16th from 11:30 am -1:30 p.m.
WHO:  Presented by the Sacramento Chapter of the California Urban Forest Council
WHAT:  Learn at Lunch - i-Tree 
WHERE: Sacramento Tree Foundation, 191 Lathrop Way, Suite D, Sacramento CA 95815
DETAIL:  Erica Teach will discuss the latest advances in i-tree software, a free online tool that provides urban and community forestry analysis and benefits assessment. 
The Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Urban Forest Council is offering free "Learn at Lunch" sessions. (Participants bring their own lunch). Sessions are offered every two months at the Sacramento Tree Foundation. Seating is limited, so participants are encouraged to sign up in case registration exceeds capacity and they need to change venues.
For more information  or Sacramento Chapter CAUFC chair, Anne Fenkner 916-214-5908 

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Date Last Modified: 4/23/16
© 2016 Fred Hoffman

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