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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 26

Cooling trend makes for perfect planting time

Mums of yellow, white, dark red
It's the season for mums! They're an easy way to add fall color to your garden. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Say hello to the 80s! After a last blast of heat on Saturday, Sacramento is expected to see 80s (or lower) the rest of the week.

According to the National Weather Service, our first full week of fall will see a distinct cooling trend, starting Sunday and lasting at least a week. The forecast high for Tuesday is only 76 degrees – 20 degrees cooler than Friday. That’s followed by several days in the low 80s with relatively warm overnight lows in the 50s.

There’s even a slight chance of rain Monday night. If no measurable precipitation is recorded by midnight Wednesday, Downtown Sacramento will break its record for longest rainless spell of 194 days, set back in 1880.

Meanwhile, this weather reminds us: Fall is for planting. Make the most of this opportunity.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons. Freshen up containers with some new chrysanthemums.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots. Consider low-mow or no-mow turf.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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