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.

Comments

0 comments have been posted.

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Taste Summer! E-cookbook

square-tomatoes-plate.jpg

Find our summer recipes here!

Local News

Ad for California Local

Taste Spring! E-cookbook

Strawberries

Find our spring recipes here!

Thanks to our sponsor!

Summer Strong ad for BeWaterSmart.info

Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* 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 bloomers 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.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

Taste Fall! E-cookbook

Muffins and pumpkin

Find our fall recipes here!

Taste Winter! E-cookbook

Lemon coconut pancakes

Find our winter recipes here!