Keep garden hydrated and cool as possible
At least sunflowers don’t add to the high temperatures — they just add summer cheerfulness. (Photo:
How hot can it get? This weekend may show us.
According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento’s high temperatures will flirt with our all-time record of 114 degrees.
Excessive heat warnings are in effect until Monday night. The weather service recommends people and pets stay indoors after 10 a.m.
Unfortunately, your garden can’t come inside or turn on the air conditioning. It’s going to have to wait until the return of the Delta Breeze on Tuesday before it gets some temperature relief.
In the meantime, concentrate on keeping your garden – and yourself – as cool, hydrated and comfortable as possible:
* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to reduce the chance of fungal infection and to conserve moisture.
* Don’t let tomatoes dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week.
* Check soil moisture and irrigate where needed. Container plants may need daily watering.
* Deep water trees and shrubs.
* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.
* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.
* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other shrubs and perennials as they finish flowering.
* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.
* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.
* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.
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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Feb. 5
Make the most of sunny days and get winter tasks done:
* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray during foggy weather or when rain is forecast.
* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.
* Finish pruning roses and deciduous trees.
* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.
* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.
* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.
* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.
* Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).
* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.
* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.
* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.
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