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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For week of Dec. 3:
Make the most of gaps between raindrops. This is a busy month!
* Windy conditions brought down a lot of leaves. Make sure to rake them away from storm drains.
* Use those leaves as mulch around frost-tender shrubs and new transplants.
* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.
* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.
* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they're dormant.
* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.
* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.
* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.
* Plant one last round of spring bulbs including daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, anemones and scillas. Get those tulips out of the refrigerator and into the ground.
* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers such as California poppies.
* Plant such spring bloomers as sweet pea, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.
* Late fall is the best time to plant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from fall and winter rains.
* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.
* Plant garlic and onions.
* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.
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