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Reset clocks this weekend -- and sprinklers, too

Daylight time starts Sunday; expanded watering schedule already here

Sidewalk with water from sprinkler
Sprinklers should be adjusted so they're not watering the sidewalk or the
gutter. Sacramento also does not permit irrigation during midday, only between 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Time to spring forward! Daylight-saving time starts Sunday, March 14.

Remember to reset your clocks before you go to bed Saturday night.

Also, reset clocks and timers on your irrigation system. With lengthening days, you’ll likely want to water earlier and later than your winter schedule.

In Sacramento, March also brings a return of the warm-season watering schedule. Residents may use sprinklers twice a week, depending on address. Even-numbered homes may water Wednesday and Sunday; odd-numbered homes water on Tuesday and Saturday.

Regardless of your watering days, hours are restricted to the period 7 p.m. to 10 a.m. So, either water in the evening, overnight or early morning.

The exception: Drip irrigation may be used at any time. Also, plants in containers may be watered as needed.

Installing new sod or other landscaping? You may water 30 consecutive days to help get it established. Same goes for a reseeded lawn.

City of Sacramento reminds residents that runoff from irrigation is not permitted at any time. So use this weekend to check for leaks and malfunctioning sprinkler heads, too. Water the landscaping, not the sidewalk.

And if it rains (as we saw this week), remember to turn off irrigation – at least for a little while. The city recommends keeping sprinklers off for 48 hours after .125 inch of rain or more.

For more tips:


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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