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Green Acres goes to the (virtual) dogs

'Dog Days of Summer' returns as online event

Large German shepherd on a lawn
Rambo knows how to stay cool during the Dog Days of
Summer. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)

It’s time to celebrate the dog days of summer in a uniquely Sacramento kind of way.

This week, Green Acres Nursery & Supply salutes hot weather gardening and our best canine friends during its annual “Dog Days of Summer,” Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 7-9.

This year’s celebration will be a virtual garden party with online activities and presentations plus special offers and prizes. (Follow Green Acres at @idiggreenacres to join the fun.)

Among the highlights will be “Cool Combos,” a live streaming event on Facebook and Instagram at 11 a.m. Friday. Participants will learn how to create beautiful, eye-catching container gardeners while also enjoying music and recipes for a cool summer get-together.

Saturday will feature a new addition to Green Acres’ “Garden Talk” series on YouTube. The theme is timely and practical: “What to Do in your Garden in August.”

Of course, dogs will have their turn in the spotlight, too – after all, it’s Dog Days! Green Acres is saluting “Canine Crusaders” with a nod to local pet organizations and ways people can help. See some of these organizations here: .

Coinciding with some of the Northern Hemisphere’s hottest weather of the year, Dog Days are an ancient tradition and get their name from the position of Sirius – the Dog Star – in the sky. Sirius is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major, the “Greater Dog.” The Romans believed Sirius gave off warmth as well as brightness, causing the summer to heat up. (Actually, it’s the Earth’s tilt towards the sun. During summer, the sun’s rays hit Northern Hemisphere at a more direct angle for more hours, creating longer and hotter days.)

In Roman lore, Dog Days encompass the 20 days before and after Sirius’ alignment with the sun. This year, that’s July 3 to Aug. 11, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

What plants can take the heat of Dog Days in Sacramento? Find out this week with the help of Green Acres’ experts.

For more details and links: .


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* 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.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

* 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.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* 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.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

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