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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Oct. 27


It's not too late to add fall color to your garden. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)
Pleasant fall weather great for gardening



After a blast of dry hot windy weather, our October days will return to a very pleasant pattern of low 70s in the afternoon and crisp nights in the low 40s.

In other words, Sacramento will feel and look like fall.

According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento highs will be in the mid to low 70s for seven consecutive days, below normal of 78. The colder overnight temperatures will coax out fall color in deciduous trees and sweeten apples and oranges. Pumpkins and winter squash will be ready for harvest, if they’re not picked already.

Enjoy this autumn weather and your great outdoors!

* Plant something. It’s not too late to start a cool-weather garden or add fall and winter color to your landscape.

* This is the best time to transplant shrubs, trees and most perennials.

* Remember to water deeply, especially seeds and new transplants. Wind and low humidity can suck the moisture out of the soil.

* 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.

* Plant spring flower seeds including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

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

* Plant garlic and onions.

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

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

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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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