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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 27

Late September ideal for transplanting (but remember to water)

The weather's perfect for planting cool-weather annuals including pansies and violas. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

The heat is back and so is high fire danger.

In addition to temperatures pushing 100 degrees, strong winds (15 to 30 mph with gusts to 50 mph) and low humidity (10 to 20%) are forecast for the next two days. The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning Saturday night through Monday evening, Sept. 28.

What that means: Watch out for wildfire. A spark from a lawnmower or other equipment can ignite dried grass or leaves. Take extra precaution while outdoors.

Hot, dry weather with temperatures about 10 degrees above average is expected to continue throughout the week, according to Sacramento’s weather forecast. But mornings will be pleasantly in the 60s and 70s – and busy.

The warm weather is keeping soil warm, too; great for planting! Just remember to keep garden additions well watered.

Traditionally, late September and October are ideal for planting in Sacramento. That includes transplanting shrubs, trees or perennials or starting a cool weather vegetable garden.

Need some specifics?

* In the vegetable garden, plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into that warm soil.

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

* 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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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Oct. 1:

Make the most of this cooler weather. Get to work on your fall garden:

* October is the best month to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. Plants become established – sending down deep, strong roots – faster in warm soil.

* Divide and replant perennials. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to the planting hole, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

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

* Plant garlic and onions.

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

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

* 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.

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