Grow For It!: County fair: show off your garden bounty

By From page B3 | April 02, 2014

Smith kitIt is time to think about this year’s El Dorado County Fair, set for Thursday, June 12 through Sunday, June 15. The fairgrounds are located at 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville, north of Highway 50. Ample parking is available.

The Master Gardeners are managing the flowers and plants department and have lots of exciting things in store for fair goers. The Master Gardener main office telephone number is 530-621-5528. The Website for the fair is

Start thinking now about entering your cut flowers, fresh or miniature flower arrangements, potted plants, silk and/or dried floral niches, dry arrangements, functional silk or fresh flower table settings, lavender and cut flowers for a sweepstakes award. There are three age divisions: adult, teen and youth.

See for all the details.

Entry forms are due Tuesday, June 10 at 4 p.m. and all floral entries must be received on Wednesday, June 11 between 3 and 8 p.m. in the Floriculture Building. They will be judged the next morning and released after the fair on Monday, June 16.

Look around the yard and see what will be in bloom mid-June and consider entering something in the fair. It is a fun and very rewarding experience.

During the fair, the Master Gardeners are located in the Floriculture Building and will be giving daily afternoon gardening talks and conducting hour-long demonstrations starting at noon.

Some of the topics include edible landscaping, garden safety, tool selection, hanging flower baskets, bearded iris, bees, fire wise landscaping, growing olives, container gardening and pruning fruit trees.

Master Gardeners are also available to answer any and all garden questions. If possible, bring a sample of your plant and or pest problem in a Ziploc baggie.

Check out a popular combined Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver class this Saturday, April 5: “Tomatoes from Seed to Table.” All aspects of the spring and summer garden favorite, tomatoes, will be covered. How to choose the best tomato varieties, dealing with insects and disease and proper water, care and harvesting techniques will be presented.

In the second half of the class, food preservers demonstrate what you can do with the tomato harvest: canning, dehydrating and freezing.

Don’t miss the upcoming fifth annual Master Gardener spring plant sale on April 19 in the Veterans Memorial Building Parking lot, 130 Placerville Drive. There are great prices and variety available. Many types of foothill perennials, trees, shrubs and groundcovers will be on hand, as well as popular heirloom tomatoes and other spring and summer vegetables. Water-wise plants will be prominently featured.

Master Gardeners are available to answer home gardening questions Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m.-noon by calling 530-621-5512. Walk-ins are welcome. The office is located at 311 Fair Lane in Placerville.

For more information about the public education classes and activities go to the Master Gardener Website at You can also find Master Gardeners on Facebook.

Kit Smith

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