This moisture meter in a grow bag tells the story
of November: Mostly dry. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)
One bomb cyclone is not enough to end a drought.
October’s deluge posted record one-day rain totals (including 5.41 inches at Sacramento Executive Airport), but a very dry November is putting that wet start to our rain year in perspective.
So far this month, we’ve received only .72 inches – about the same precipitation for November 2019 and November 2020. Normal for the month: 2 inches.
Our forecast for the remaining week (including Thanksgiving) looks dry, too. According to the National Weather Service, the next chance of rain won’t arrive until Dec. 1.
That’s after a soggy October in Sacramento that totaled 6.72 inches, more than four times average for that month.
Thanks to all that early rain, Sacramento is still in pretty good shape, water-wise, compared to where we stood in drought years 2019 and 2020. Sacramento Executive Airport has received 7.44 inches so far since our new rain year began Oct. 1. That’s 41% of our average total (18.1 inches) and more precipitation than we received in all of the previous rain year (6.61 inches) that ended Sept. 30.
Although that stormy October made quite a splash, winter is when nature really builds its moisture reserves with Sierra snowpack at higher elevations and slow-moving, soaking rain in the Valley.
Unfortunately, our long-range forecast looks pretty dry. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, our winter will be warmer and drier than average. Late December can expect some big storms, but January, February and March – usually our rainiest time of the year – will see lower than normal precipitation, perhaps 5 to 6 inches below normal.
With that dry forecast in mind, local water providers are still offering rebates and resources for water-efficient upgrades. Learn more at www.bewatersmart.info .
Comments0 comments have been posted.
An article about gardening.
Taste Spring! E-cookbook
Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.
Dig In: Garden Checklist
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.
Send us a gardening question, a post suggestion or information about an upcoming event. firstname.lastname@example.org