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Make vegetable gardening part of your long weekend

Memorial Day weekend is a good time to plant pepper seedlings outdoors. The weather and soil are warm enough to prompt rapid growth.
Memorial Day weekend is a good time to plant pepper seedlings outdoors. The weather and soil are warm enough to prompt rapid growth. Sacramento Bee file

Got plans this Memorial Day weekend? If you haven’t already, make time to plant a summer vegetable garden. The ground is finally warm (and dry) enough to prompt transplants to grow quickly. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, cucumbers and beans will appreciate warm days and nights, too.

▪ If just starting your garden now, choose varieties that need the least time to mature, preferably under 75 days.

▪ From seed, plant beans, radishes, corn, pumpkins and squash (both summer and winter). Also plant basil and other annual herbs.

▪ To speed up your garden’s production, plant seedlings for cucumber, pepper, eggplant and tomatoes.

▪ Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

▪ Plant seeds for sunflowers, asters, cosmos, salvia and zinnias.

▪ Don’t forget to water! It’s vital to keep those transplants hydrated. Seeds need consistently moist (not soggy) soil to sprout; don’t let them dry out.

▪ As spring-flowering shrubs finish blooming, give them a little pruning to shape, removing old and dead wood. Lightly trim azaleas, fuchsias and marguerites for bushier plants.

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