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School trees will get some help at SacTree event

Mulching morning at Smythe Academy needs volunteers

Young woman spreading wood chip mulch
Wood-chip mulch helps retain soil moisture and protects
a tree's roots. (Photo courtesy Sacramento Tree Foundation)

This Independence Day weekend, step up to help some local trees – and learn how to help your own trees, too.

On Saturday morning, July 3, the Sacramento Tree Foundation will host a Mulching Day at Smythe Academy, 2781 Northgate Blvd., Sacramento. Volunteers will be out in force from 8:45 a.m. to noon.

Participation is free, but volunteers should register in advance:
https://bit.ly/3gZQknL .

These particular trees have special meaning, according to the foundation, because they’re school trees. Students enjoy their shade as well as learn about trees from these examples.

“School trees need our help to get through this hot, dry summer!” say the organizers. “Volunteer with us to mulch, stake, and care for young and mature trees that our children enjoy and learn from.”

SacTree experts will lead the mulching.

“All tools will be provided,” say the organizers. “Please bring a water bottle (and wear) closed-toed shoes, a hat, and work clothing. Wood chips contain dust and pollen that can irritate your respiratory system, so bring a mask to protect your lungs and sinuses.”

As for COVID protocols, non-vaccinated people should wear face masks, too. This is an outdoor activity with plenty of room for social distancing.

For details: www.sactree.com .

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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

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

* 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.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

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

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

* 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.

* 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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