Dry weather continues at least a few more days
|Fertilize camellias after they finish blooming. This is Camellia sasanqua 'Showa-No-Sakae.' (Photo: Kathy Morrison)|
Will March bring us a drought-busting miracle?
Sacramento’s record rainless streak continues. Although thunderstorms this past week dropped a few sprinkles, it was not enough to be “measurable precipitation” on Downtown Sacramento’s official rain meter. We haven’t had “real” rain since Jan. 7 and that was merely a drizzle.
Normally, January and February combine for about 7.2 inches of rain. So far in 2022, we’ve had 0.05 inches.
According to the National Weather Service, our dry spell may finally end this week – as a new month begins. Wednesday evening has a 30% chance of showers.
Otherwise, the forecast for the week ahead is mostly sunny, with a return to the low 70s by Monday. Enjoy this good gardening weather and get to work!
* Deep water fast-growing shrubs and perennials. Camellias could use a drink, too.
* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.
* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.
* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.
* Start preparing summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.
* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.
*Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.
* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.
* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and cole family plants, such as cabbage, broccoli, collards and kale.
* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground. (Germination tip: Soak the beet seeds first!)
* Before the mercury starts inching upward, this is your last chance to plant such annuals as pansies, violas and primroses.
* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.
* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.
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For week of June 4:
Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.
* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.
* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.
* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.
* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.
* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.
* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.
* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.
* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.
* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.
* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.
* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.
* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.
* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.
* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.
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