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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Oct. 13



Plant transplants of kale and other cool-weather vegetables now. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

After the smoke clears, plant something; lots of possibilities



Plants don’t mind the smoke. This weekend, fires burning in the Sierra foothills cast a smoky haze over the Sacramento area, making eyes water and throats scratch.

So, although temperatures remained mild, it’s not advised to undertake strenuous activity outdoors until the smoke clears. That should happen when breezes pick up, which may be as soon as Sunday night.

When the smoke clears, take advantage of some very comfortable fall weather. According to the
National Weather Service , Sacramento high temperatures will stay in the 70s all week with overnight lows flirting with 50.

That’s great planting weather. Need suggestions?

* October is the best month to plant perennials in the greater Sacramento area. 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.

* Trees and shrubs also benefit from fall planting. Keep them well watered until winter rains take over irrigation.

* California native plants do best when transplanted now; they’ll develop strong, deep roots.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers such as cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

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

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

* 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.

















































































































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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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