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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 31

More rain is on the way, then good garden days

Moisture meter and temperature probe in soil
Yes, that soil is wet -- and cold! We can expect
more rain Monday night. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)





Keep your rain gear handy. After 2 inches of rain this week, another storm is on its way.

According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento will see up to an inch of rain from this next weather system, expected to hit Monday night and extend through Tuesday.

The rest of the week may be partly cloudy, but mostly dry with high temperatures in the 50s and lows in the 40s – just about normal for the first week of January. Expect to see sunny skies and warmer weather Thursday.

In the meantime, don’t walk on soggy soil; it may compact. Wait until the soil dries out a little before digging.

But once excess moisture drains, the ground should be soft and easy to work. Expect good gardening weather by next weekend.

* During this rainy weather, turn off the sprinklers. Irrigation can stay off at least a week.

* Check soil moisture before watering.

* Finish pruning roses and dormant trees and shrubs.

* Weed, weed, weed! Pull them while they’re small.

* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer.

* Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers and bare-root rhubarb roots, asparagus and horseradish.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* 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.

* Plant bare-root roses, shrubs and fruit trees.

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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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