July ends in triple digits after slight cooldown Monday
|Four o'clocks brighten the summer garden. Feeding flowering plants every other week extends their bloom. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)|
With or without the event, this is State Fair weather. According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento will see typical late July weather this week – some days over 100 degrees, others “just” in the 90s. In other words, it’s the kind of weather that what we usually experience during the State Fair, which was canceled this summer due to the pandemic.
After a triple-digit weekend, some cloud cover and light breeze will cool us off a little Monday and Tuesday, keeping high temperatures in the low 90s. Then it’s back to 102 on Wednesday and Thursday.
Concentrate on getting your garden chores done early, then try to stay cool.
* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to reduce the chance of fungal infection and to conserve moisture.
* After watering, fertilize vegetables and blooming annuals, perennials and shrubs to give them a boost. Feeding flowering plants every other week will extend their bloom.
* Feed vegetable plants bone meal or other fertilizers high in phosphate to stimulate more blooms and fruiting.
* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week.
* Keep an eye on zucchini. Harvest squash promptly.
* Remove spent flowers from roses and other shrubs as they finish flowering.
* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.
* Remove spent leaves and stems from daylilies.
* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.
* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, bush beans, winter squash and sunflowers.
* Indoors, start seedlings for fall vegetable planting, including bunching onion, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, radicchio and lettuce.
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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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