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Labor Day weekend is ideal for gardening

Labor Day weekend is a good time to plant seeds for clarkia, California poppy and African daisy.
Labor Day weekend is a good time to plant seeds for clarkia, California poppy and African daisy. Sacramento Bee file

This could be the perfect weekend to tackle your garden’s to-do list. With triple-digit heat nowhere in sight, this Labor Day weekend offers great gardening weather – and hopefully some 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 the summer vegetable season, 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 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.

▪ 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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