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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 5

Expect 'normal' temperatures after hot Labor Day

Honey bee on a orange cosmos blossom
A honey bee harvests pollen from a Diablo cosmos blossom, not far from the tomato bed. Keep harvesting summer veggies to keep the plants producing. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer with another hot streak.

According to the National Weather Service, expect a string of hot days, topping out around 102 degrees on Monday. Some parts of the Valley will top 105.

It’s a good weekend to take it easy and stay hydrated. That includes your garden, too. Water deeply and limit chores to early morning when temperatures will be coolest.

Starting Tuesday, we’ll see temperatures slide back into the mid and low 90s. Friday’s predicted high is only 89 degrees.

What’s normal for September in Sacramento? For this week, 91 degrees (high) and 61 (low); for the month, 87 and 56, respectively. The all-time record is 108 degrees.

Chance of rain remains slight: Our average total for September is just 0.29 inches.

* September starts another season in the vegetable garden. Plan to plant for fall in the weeks ahead. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

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

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, lettuce and other cool-season veggies.

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

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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