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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Oct. 4

Hazy conditions keep weather cooler

Pumpkin on vine
It's time to harvest pumpkins and winter squash. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)




Once the smoke clears, October will look and feel almost normal. That’s a good thing for our gardens.

According to the National Weather Service, our forecast for the week calls for high temperatures in the 80s – average for the first week of October in Sacramento. Wildfire-smoke haze, acting like cloud cover, also is keeping temperatures down as we ease into autumn.

When working outdoors, you may want to wear a smoke-filtering face mask (such as a N95) or wait until the Delta breeze returns later in the week to clear that haze away.

What tasks are waiting? Here are some suggestions:

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioli, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

* Clean up the summer vegetable garden and compost disease-free foliage.

* Harvest pumpkins and winter squash.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Divide and replant perennials.

* Plant seeds for cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale and other cool-weather vegetables.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.


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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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