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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of June 6

Make the most of mild weather, ideal for planting

Peach-colored coneflower blossom
Coneflowers come in more colors than the usual purple, and can give the summer garden some bright accents. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

After a broiling start to June, we’re headed into an extra mild week – perfect for planting and other garden activities.

According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento will spend a warm weekend with highs in the low 90s. Then expect several days in the low 80s, perhaps even the 70s – a 20-degree drop from a week ago.

Breezy conditions will keep afternoons cool, but nights will stay comfortably in the 50s. Although the Sierra may see thunderstorms, no rain is expected in the Valley.

This weather makes for near-ideal conditions for several crops to grow fast. Keep an eye on the zucchini!

* It’s not too late to plant a summer vegetable garden. Transplant tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Choose fast-maturing varieties.

* From seed, plant beans, corn, melons, pumpkins, radishes, squash and sunflowers.

Basil plant with white flowers
Plant some basil for you, but also plant some for the bees,
which love the flowers.
* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Add instant color to the garden with petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* Transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* 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.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Remember to weed; those plants are growing fast, too. Pull them before they go to seed.


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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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