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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of June 28



rose with bee
Bees are back to buzzing with the cooler weather. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Month ends with cooldown and 'normal' conditions




The breeze is back and with it cooler weather.

After five consecutive triple-digit days (including 104 degrees on Friday), Sacramento will see several days in the lows 90s or even the 80s -- in other words, normal for the last week in June, according to the National Weather Service. Sacramento's average high temperature for this time of year: 92 degrees.

What does this mean for your garden? Tomatoes, peppers, squash and other summer favorites will start setting fruit again. Tomatoes already on the vine will ripen normally. Bees will be active.

And so will gardeners; there's a lot to do!

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to reduce the chance of fungal infection and to conserve moisture.

* Water, then fertilize vegetables and blooming annuals, perennials and shrubs to give them a boost. Feeding flowering plants every other week will extend their bloom.

* Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more. Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in 90-degree weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

Zinnias add bright garden color.
*Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

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

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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