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Gardeners, plan now for a packed September

Members get first pick of the plants during the Sept. 28 plant sale at the UC Davis Arboretum Nursery. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Calendar fills up as temperatures inch down

It's going to cool down, really it is. And that means good planting weather will return, not long after  turning the page to September in the 2019 Gardening Guide and Calendar.

(That calendar, by the way, is a product of the UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County, and their 2020 version is already on sale
here . Placer County will have one, too, available here on Sept. 3.)

Along with better planting conditions will come a host of fall gardening events. So flip to September now and write down a few of the big ones so you won't forget. We'll have more information on these and other events on the blog and over at our own calendar listings in the days ahead.

-- The American Begonia Show & Sale, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 7, kicks off the fall plant  show season at the Shepard Garden and Art Center in Sacramento's McKinley Park. The Delta Gesneriad & African Violet Society will follow that up with its show and sale Sept. 14.

-- The National Heirloom Expo returns Tuesday-Thursday, Sept. 10-12, highlighting heritage fruits and vegetables. The Santa Rosa event is packed with speakers, vendors and displays -- plus the nation's largest seed swap. Details at

-- Open Garden at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 14. If you missed Harvest Day or have new questions for the master gardeners, you'll want to check out this more informal event at the Fair Oaks site. A midweek Open Garden will held in October: Wednesday, Oct. 9

-- First Fall Sale at the UC Davis Arboretum Nursery, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28. The first sale of the season typically starts with two hours of members-only plant shopping. It's worth joining, for this perk as well as for the 10 percent discount on the many climate-perfect plants on sale. (The other sales this fall will be Oct. 12 and Nov. 2.)

-- Kathy Morrison


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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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