Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening Article
Your resource for Sacramento-area gardening news, tips and events

Articles Recipe Index Keyword Index Calendar Twitter Facebook Instagram About Us Contact Us

Dig In: Garden checklist for week of April 4

Sunny, mild conditions are perfect for gardening

Zinnia seed packets
Can you guess Kathy's favorite annual flower? Yes, it's time to sow zinnia seeds
-- and a lot of other things. Happy April! (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

It’s time to get outside! Days like these make new gardeners and reinvigorate longtime green thumbs.

April is one of the best gardening months in Sacramento, with mild temperatures and lots of sun. Historically, we average highs of 71 degrees and lows of 46; keep that in mind while planting summer veggies.

According to the National Weather Service, we may see clouds Monday, but April showers are unlikely. The forecast for this first full week of April calls for mostly sunny (and dry) conditions, with afternoons in the low to mid 70s and overnight lows in the mid 40s.

Wait just a little bit longer before setting out tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. They need nights that are consistently above 50 degrees to get comfortable. Otherwise, they’ll just sulk and not grow.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 6-6-6) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Weed, weed, weed! Pull invasive plants before they flower or go to seed.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beets, carrots, chard, radishes, spinach  and squash. Plant onion sets. Wait til the second half of the month to plant beans, corn, cucumbers and melons; pumpkins can wait until May. They need warm soil to germinate.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Transplant one last round of leaf lettuce or other leafy greens.


0 comments have been posted.

Taste Spring! E-cookbook


Find our spring recipes here!

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Thanks to our sponsor!

Be Water Smart

Local News

Ad for California Local

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.

Contact Us

Send us a gardening question, a post suggestion or information about an upcoming event.