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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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For week of Dec. 3:

Make the most of gaps between raindrops. This is a busy month!

* Windy conditions brought down a lot of leaves. Make sure to rake them away from storm drains.

* Use those leaves as mulch around frost-tender shrubs and new transplants.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they're dormant.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Plant one last round of spring bulbs including daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, anemones and scillas. Get those tulips out of the refrigerator and into the ground.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers such as California poppies.

* Plant such spring bloomers as sweet pea, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Late fall is the best time to plant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from fall and winter rains.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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