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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of June 13

Prepare for more triple-digit heat coming soon

Yellow sunflower with bees
Sunflowers are easy to grow in summer -- and the bees love them. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Make the most of a weekend in the 80s. More heat is on the way.

According to the National Weather Service, our cool break is over. Sacramento could see 103 degrees on Thursday. That will be followed by plenty of days in the 90s.

What did you expect? Summer is right around the corner.

* Deep-water shrubs and trees before the heat arrives. Check soil moisture. Make sure water reaches 6 inches deep.

* Weed, weed, weed! Pull out invasive plants before they flower and set seed. Be on the lookout for bindweed and nutsedge.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! That will help retain moisture as well as smother weeds. Mulch keeps your plants’ roots comfortable on hot days, as well as cut down on work. For best results, spread 3 to 4 inches of wood chips, dried leaves, straw or other organic mulch (not rocks). Leave a 6-inch circle around trunks or main stems to avoid crown rot.

* From seed, plant beans, corn, melons, pumpkins, radishes, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Add instant color to the garden with petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* Transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer. Water before and after fertilizing.

* Dig and divide crowded daffodils and other bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.


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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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