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Garden Checklist: Make the most of cool mornings

Plant sunflowers now for early fall blooms – you’ll keep the bees happy, too.
Plant sunflowers now for early fall blooms – you’ll keep the bees happy, too. Bigstock

Sacramento’s July weather can seem scorching one day, moderate the next. But most mornings are very comfortable – especially if you have chores waiting outside. Make the most of that early coolness. Start gardening early.

▪ Water your garden early, too, preferably before 8 a.m. That allows your plants to make the most of that moisture. Keep yourself hydrated, too, while working outside.

▪ If you have room, add more vegetables to the garden and extend your summer crops into fall. Plant seeds for corn, lima beans, okra, parsnips, pumpkin, summer and winter squash and watermelon. Remember to keep soil evenly moist so those seeds will sprout.

▪ Plant sunflowers for early fall blooms. Your bees will be happy.

▪ Now is the time to prune spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs. Then, leave them alone as they start to set next year’s buds. Non-blooming hedges also can be trimmed in July.

▪ Remove spent flowers from roses and other shrubs so they will continue blooming throughout the summer into fall.

▪ Do your camellia or azalea leaves look yellow? That may be signs of an iron deficiency. Feed them chelated iron to green up that foliage.

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