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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 2


Break out the seeds for fall vegetables, and don't forget to plant California poppies, too. You'll be glad you did.
(Photo: Kathy Morrison)

September starts a season of garden renewal; plant winter vegetables now



A new month and almost a new season: September brings renewed enthusiasm to Sacramento gardeners.

Weather tends to be cooler, particularly at night and early morning. It puts a little more bounce back in plants, and more bounce in gardeners’ steps.

Average Sacramento high for September is 87 degrees; overnight lows remain relatively warm with an average of 56 degrees. That range represents a sweet spot for planting fall and winter vegetables as well as flowers for spring. It’s also an ideal time for transplanting shrubs and perennials.

Need ideas? Here are some suggestions:

* Before planting, cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.
Divide peonies now for more blooms
in the spring. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. Bearded irises should be divided every three to five years.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

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