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Garden checklist: Get new garden year started right

Happy new garden year! If you don’t already do it, start keeping track of your garden activity and observations, especially any additions (even if there’s more drought, you will plant something in 2015) or subtractions (tree removal, dead shrubs, summer annuals, etc.) plus seasonal chores such as pruning and spraying.

The squares on a large new 2015 calendar are enough space for many garden notes. Hang the calendar in a handy spot (such as a shed or garage door) where you’re sure to see it often. You also can post reminders (feed the lawn, spray the fruit trees, etc.).

Need a calendar with built-in reminders? Both the Sacramento County and Placer County master gardener programs offer wonderful calendars with local gardening guides.

▪ Speaking of annual chores, this is rose-pruning season. Trim back bushes to one-third or one-half of their current size.

▪ Clean up leaves and debris around fruit trees and rose bushes to prevent the spread of disease.

▪ Plant bare-root roses or fruit trees.

▪ Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees soon after a rain to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective. Don’t apply on foggy days.

▪ This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl.

▪ In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

▪ Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

Debbie Arrington