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Time change also means change in sprinklers

Winter water-use rules for City of Sacramento go into effect Sunday

Irrigation control box
Time to get reacquainted with that device controlling the sprinkler system. Sacramento city residents
can water just once a week starting Sunday and through February. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

It's time to roll back – not just your clocks, but your water use.

Sunday, Nov. 1, marks the end of Daylight Saving Time. Remember to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed Saturday night.

But Sunday in Sacramento also marks the start of winter water use restrictions. Sacramento city residents will be cut back to only one day of outdoor watering per week.

According to the City of Sacramento, residents can turn on the sprinklers any time of day or night – as long as it’s a Saturday or a Sunday. Unlike the rest of the year, residents are not restricted to “odd” or “even” days, dependent on their address. Instead, they can choose Saturday or Sunday (but not both).

No sprinkler use will be allowed during weekdays. Drip irrigation is exempt.

This rule is in effect through the end of February. Two-day-a-week sprinkler use will be back in March.

According to Sacramento’s water rules, “No over-watering (excessive water running off properties and onto sidewalks or gutters, or ponding of water on properties) is allowed, nor is watering allowed within 48 hours of measurable rain (1/8 inch).”

(If you get cited, don’t say you weren’t warned.)

Why watch our water use? Although officials are holding off calling 2020 a “drought year,” it remains very dry. Starting in October 2019, the official water year for Sacramento totaled only 10.87 inches – about 8 inches below normal. Sacramento has received only 0.35 inches of precipitation since April.

For more on Sacramento water rules:

Residents of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt and Rancho Cordova, as well as of the unincorporated parts of Sacramento County, should check with their local water districts for potential winter watering changes.

- Debbie Arrington


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Garden Checklist for week of April 21

This week there’s plenty to keep gardeners busy. With no rain in the immediate forecast, remember to irrigate any new transplants.

* Weed, weed, weed! Get them before they flower and go to seed.

* 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 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

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

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* 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 beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* 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.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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