Plant bok choy, spinach, peas, radishes, carrots and lettuce; the warm ground will get these fall crops off to a fast start.
Transplant seedlings for cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale.
Sow California poppy seeds for a golden spring.
Transplant cool-weather annuals such as calendula, cyclamen, fairy primroses, pansies and violas.
Cultivate and add compost to the soil for fall and winter vegetables and annuals.
Dig, divide and replant overgrown perennials after they finish blooming. Weed and amend flower beds before replanting.
Divide and replant bulbs and rhizomes.
Put tulip and hyacinth bulbs in the refrigerator for six weeks before planting. Bulbs chilled now will be ready to plant in mid-November. While chilling bulbs, keep apples out of the refrigerator; the fruit releases ethylene gas that may rot the bulbs.
Sow a new lawn or reseed bare spots.
Be prepared. That's not just a scout's motto, it's common sense. But are your home and family ready for unexpected emergencies?
September is National Preparedness Month. With the slogan "Resolve to be Ready," the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps urge Americans to be prepared for natural disasters before they strike. Being prepared can take the fear out of emergency situations and offers peace of mind.
But where to start? Here are a few simple steps:
Build an emergency kit. The Ready Campaign recommends organizing a kit with essentials: water, flashlight and batteries, a transistor radio and a fire extinguisher.
Store and protect what matters most. Some family documents are essential for moving forward after disaster strikes. A waterproof safe will ensure that important documents, such as birth certificates, insurance papers and mortgage documents, survive a flood or fire.
Alarm your home. When power is out, people often crank up portable generators for electricity. But those generators can be a source of carbon monoxide (CO). To avoid poisoning, CO alarms should be installed on every floor and in every sleeping area to properly monitor your home. (That's also California law.) A battery-powered travel CO alarm is perfect for an emergency kit.
Tie it down. During stormy weather or windstorms, have ropes on hand to secure outdoor deck or patio furniture. This protects the furniture from breaking, but also ensures that other surfaces will not be damaged or windows broken.