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Happy Halloween! Now, about November


Happy Halloween from this cat-o-lantern and the Sacramento Digs Gardening bloggers. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)


Less daylight, but many gardening events and activities

Today is all about costumes, pumpkins and trick-or-treating, but Halloween also ushers in later fall. Here are some fun events and an important reminder for gardeners for the next week:

* Love history and trees? The Sacramento Tree Foundation and the Friends of Sutter's Fort present a free walking tour 10 a.m. this Saturday of the historic trees at Fort Sutter State Historic Park, 2701 L St. in midtown Sacramento. Sign up at
www.sactree.com/events .

* The Elk Grove Community Garden will hold its Grand Reopening Open House celebration 1-4 p.m. Saturday. The free event is in honor of the completion of big and small improvements to the garden, which is home to 94 plots. Sounds like it will be quite a party: Garden tours, kids activities and food trucks will be part of the event. The master  gardeners will be on hand, too, so bring along your garden questions. The garden is at 10025 Hampton Oak Drive, Elk Grove. Information: www.elkgrovecommunitygarden.o rg

* We've already blogged about the Sacramento Chrysanthemum Show (which is Saturday and Sunday) and the UC Davis Arboretum clearance sale (Saturday), but it doesn't hurt to mention them again. Both are big events for Sacramento gardeners and plant lovers.

* Not enough to fill up your weekend? You could squeeze in a class on "Sustaining the Environment with Native Plants," 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Soil Born Farms' American River Ranch, 2140 Chase Drive in Rancho Cordova. Mark Lum of the California Native Plant Society leads the class, which cover analyzing native plants for human use and how to collect them in a sustainable way. For ages 18 and up. Offered through the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op. $25 ($1.67 service fee), available on Brown Paper Tickets .

* Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. this Sunday; don't forget to set your clocks back before you go to bed. The time change is great for early-morning gardeners, though we'll have to bundle up a bit before going outside to prune or pick. Sunset moves up to just about 5 p.m. Those long evenings of light will return after standard time ends March 10, 2019.

Checking our Garden Calendar is a great way to keep up on events large and small in the region throughout the seasons.

-- 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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