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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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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

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

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

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

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

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

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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