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Garden Checklist: Transition from summer into fall

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This Labor Day weekend offers great gardening opportunities – including a favorable forecast mixed with some (hopefully) free time. September usually features some of Sacramento’s best gardening weather of the year. Take advantage of pleasant temperatures, especially in the morning, and renew your garden for more growing in the seasons ahead.

While Labor Day represents the end of summer, it’s time to plant for fall. Warm soil gets seedlings off to a quick start. Remember: They’ll need water, too.

Get busy on the fall vegetable garden. Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

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

There’s room for flowers, too. Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies. Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, cyclamen, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

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

Dig, divide and replant overgrown perennials such as daylilies and Shasta daisies as they finish blooming. Divide and replant bearded irises, too. Before replanting, weed and amend the flower beds with compost or other organic fertilizer.

Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant to stretch out the summer harvest for a few more weeks.

Recycle your garden leftovers. Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

Fertilize deciduous fruit trees. Pick up any fallen fruit to cut down on the spread of pests and disease.

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