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Home front: how to sheet mulch; start a home orchard


A roundup of local home and garden events, including sheet mulching for a sustainable garden, creating a home orchard and ways to use pumpkins for fall decorations.

HOW TO SHEET MULCH ... If you have an area of your garden that is weed-infested or a lawn you want to get rid of, Lyngso Garden Materials is holding a class, "Sheet Mulch Your Way to a Sustainable Garden," on Saturday, Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to noon. Lyngso's sustainability coordinator Kan Parthiban will talk about everything you need to know about sheet mulching. Learn how to convert a weedy part of your yard or a lawn into a sustainable garden using compost, cardboard, grass clippings and existing soil. The class will be held at 345 Shoreway Road, San Carlos. To register, go to lyngsogarden.com.

START A HOME ORCHARD ... If you've thought about planting fruit trees, now is the time. The Palo Alto master gardener program will host a talk on "Starting a Home Orchard with Bareroot Fruit Trees" on Thursday, Nov. 16, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Learn the basics of how to decide what to grow and how to select and plant bare root trees, and get them off to a healthy start. The class will be held at Rinconada Library, 1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto.

PUMPKIN DECOR ... From floral designer Karen Lidbeck-Brent, via Garden Magazine, here is an easy way to incorporate a pumpkin into your autumn decor: To turn a pumpkin or winter squash into a fresh flower container, cut off the top, remove the insides, and slip in a vase, bowl, or plastic container filled with water or wet floral foam. "Pumpkins can hold pretty much anything without leaking," said Lidbeck-Brent. To preserve a pumpkin, roast then freeze pumpkin (rather than freezing it raw). "Roasting is better for pumpkins with higher moisture content," says grower Eddie Gordon of Gordon Skagit Farms in Mount Vernon, Washington.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 27, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

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