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 May 31

Basil is an excellent companion plant for tomatoes. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

May ends on a cool (and maybe soggy) note

May goes out with more unexpected twists -- rain and a 25-degree dip in high temperatures.
After record heat in midweek, Sacramento is back in the 70s and expected to get wet. But this change is only temporary.

According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento could receive as much as a half inch of rain from this weekend storm system with the possibility of thunderstorms and maybe hail in the foothills. Remember to turn off the sprinklers.

This cool down feels like a welcome respite after 103-degree days. Sunday and Monday are both expected to be in the low 80s before we jump up 10 degrees by Tuesday. The first week of June will see several days in the 90s. That's hot for early June, which averages 87 degrees in Sacramento.

In other words, it will soon feel like summer again.

Make the most of these cooler days and enjoy your outdoor spaces:

*Warm weather brings rapid growth in the vegetable garden. Tomatoes and squash enjoy the heat. Deep-water, then feed with a balanced fertilizer. Bone meal can spur the bloom cycle and help set fruit.
* Generally, tomatoes need deep watering two to three times a week (about 5 gallons per plant total for the week), but don't let them dry out completely between drinks. That can encourage blossom-end rot.
* 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.
* 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. Mulch to conserve moisture and reduce heat stress.
* Cut back Shasta daisies after flowering to encourage a second bloom in the fall.
* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes.
* From seed, plant beans, corn, melons, pumpkins, radishes, squash and sunflowers.
* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.
* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.
* Transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias,  gazanias, rudbeckia, salvia  and verbena.


0 comments have been posted.

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Local News

Ad for California Local

Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

Contact Us

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