search this website

Plants and Pest Problems: Links

Other Garden Websites


March 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. And, you can listen to 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.
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!


March 15: Greg Gayton, Green Acres Nursery: "Pre-Spring Garden Advice"
March 22: Warren Roberts - UC Davis Arboretum: "Beautiful Plants that Don't Require Much Water: The Arboretum All-Stars"
March 29: Scott Paris - High Hand Nursery-Loomis: "The Best Plants for a 21st Century California Garden"; Shellie Perry - El Dorado California Native Plant Society plant sale
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 Mar. 21, 2015)

Avg. evapotranspiration rate this past week : .95" valley; 1.00" foothills.

Soil Temperature: 61 (F) valley. 61 (F) low foothills. 53 (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:
See you at the NEW Green Acres Nursery in Elk Grove (Bond Rd. & Hwy 99), Sunday, March 22, 1-3 p.m. Presented by Kellogg Garden Products, makers of G&B Organics soils and fertilizers!
Saturday, 3/28      
Drip Irrigation                                                                                                      
With summer coming soon, it is very important to preserve our water resources, while protecting the investments in our plants and landscaping. Join Master Gardeners Debbie Hillel and Sheri Burke as they discuss the basics of home sprinkler and drip irrigation systems. Learn how to provide your plants with the water they need and reduce your water bill.  FREE
Presented by the Master Gardeners of El Dorado County.
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.      Sherwood Demonstration Garden, Folsom Lake College El Dorado Center, 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville
 Saturday, 3/28     
Tomatoes - From Seed to Pot                                                                
Tomatoes are a favorite in the spring and summer garden, and are the reason many people get started gardening in the first place.  Master Gardener and vegetable guru Zack Dowell will show you how to choose the right varieties, deal with problem pests and properly care for your tomatoes. In the second half, MG/MFPs Cindy Young and Judi Johnson will talk about what you can do with your harvest:  Canning, dehydrating and freezing.  FREE
This is a co presentation of the UCCE Master Gardeners and UCCE Master Food Preservers.
9:00 am - noon                  Government Center Hearing Room, Building C, 2850 Fair Lane, Placerville
Saturday, March 28
Irrigation Logic
10:00 AM to Noon
Master Gardener Demonstration Garden at the Nevada Irrigation District
1036 West Main Street
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Presented by the Nevada County Master Gardeners
Get logical on how to create a water efficient irrigation system for your landscape and garden!
          Discover different irrigation systems; the benefits and drawbacks of each
        Explore display models and learn the nuts and bolts to building your own irrigation system
         Learn how to manage water by hydrozoning plants for watering efficiency
        Discover how to determine your gardens water needs and when and how much to irrigate
       Participate in discussions about water needs of lawns, alternative and drought resistant plants
Saturday, March 28
Spring Surprises in the Storer Garden
11 a.m., UC Davis Arboretum Gazebo, UC Davis Campus
Our valley-wise demonstration garden, the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden, is beautiful year round, but especially in spring. Just in time for our first public plant sale of the spring season on April 11, you can come get great ideas for your own water-thrifty garden. The event is free; parking is available along Garrod Drive near the Gazebo or in nearby Visitor Parking Lot 55. For more information and directions, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit
March 29, 2015 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Sacramento County, UC Cooperative Extension,
4145 Branch Center Rd., Sacramento, CA
Admission: Free
More info:
Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association (SABA) is hosting an Open House and Introduction to Beekeeping for the Public on March 29, 2015 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Bees are one of the most vital of living creatures there are and this is one of the best ways to learn about them.¬ Observer bees in an observation hive (bees in a sealed Plexiglas box), taste local honey, learn about basic required equipment, Pests and Diseases, importance of beekeeping and pollination,¬ Mead (Honey Wine), candle making, solar beeswax melters and much more.¬ Experienced hobbyist beekeepers will be on hand to answer your question to this introduction of beekeeping.
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.  
Saturday, MAY 9th, 2015
9:00am - 4:00pm
Sacramento Geranium Club Plant Sale
Shepard Garden & Arts Center
3330 McKinley Boulevard
Sacramento 95816
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

vBulletin statistic

Date Last Modified: 3/21/15
© 2015 Fred Hoffman

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