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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Nov. 22

Cool dry November days great for planting

Fallen peach leaves

Just a little bit of leaf curl evident in these fallen peach leaves. It's best to dispose of diseased plant
material, not compost it. And once all the leaves have fallen, be ready to spray copper fungicide on the peach or nectarine tree, specially while the weather's still dry. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)




Sunny days and chilly nights; that's our forecast for Thanksgiving week.
According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento days will be bright and crisp with highs in the low 60s. Under clear skies, overnight lows will dip into the 30s but stay warm enough to avoid frost. Breezes will be mild, too.

Sounds like perfect late November gardening weather!

* Save dry stalks and seedpods from poppies and coneflowers for fall bouquets and holiday decorating.
* Rake and compost leaves, but dispose of any diseased plant material. For example, if peach and nectarine trees showed signs of leaf curl this year, clean up under trees and dispose of those leaves instead of composting.
* To help prevent leaf curl, apply a copper fungicide spray to peach and nectarine trees after they lose their leaves this month. Leaf curl, which shows up in the spring, is caused by a fungus that winters as spores on the limbs and around the tree in fallen leaves. Sprays are most effective now and best applied in current dry conditions.
* Give your azaleas, gardenias and camellias a boost with chelated iron.
* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while dormant.
* Plant daffodils, crocuses, anemones and scillas. Remember to take tulips and hyacinths out of the refrigerator and plant them, too.
* Seed wildflowers including poppies.
* Plant sweet pea, sweet alyssum, bachelor buttons and other spring favorites.
* You can still plant or transplant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from fall and winter rains.
* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.
* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.
* Plant garlic and onions (but don't.

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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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