Get ready to change your clocks and other semiannual chores.
Today is the last day of 2011's daylight saving time. We officially "fall back" one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday as we return to Pacific Standard Time. Reset your clocks and alarms before going to bed and enjoy an extra hour of sleep.
Safety and home efficiency experts use this time-switch date as a reminder to take care of other important tasks:
Change the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Change the filters in home heating systems. You'll save energy and money, too; that can help you sleep better during your extra hour.
Change the box of baking soda, absorbing odors in your refrigerator, for a fresh box. Instead of tossing the used box, pour that baking soda down the drain. It will freshen the sink's smell, too. If that sink tends to clog, follow the baking soda with two quarts boiling water (about a teakettle full).
Mark your calendar for the next time change. Daylight saving time starts again on March 11.
This is the ideal time to transplant ground covers, small evergreen trees and shrubs in Sacramento. Early November's mild weather also is perfect for planting most perennials.
Divide and replant overcrowded perennials such as agapanthus and daylilies.
In the vegetable garden, plant from seed fava beans, bok choy, Swiss chard, garlic, leaf lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio, radishes, shallots and spinach.
Set out transplants of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce and peas.
For spring flowers, plant California poppies, cornflower, larkspur, scabiosa and sweet peas.
This month, plant daffodils, Dutch iris and other spring bulbs.
Pre-chill tulips and hyacinths in the refrigerator for six weeks before planting.
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