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 17

Depending on how ripe they are and how intense the rain is, cherries may be damaged in the coming rainstorm. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Expect a soggy break in warm spring weather

Be ready for anything. That's got to be the motto for 2020 and applies (among many things) to our May weather.

For May 16-18, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning with snow in the passes. Here in the Valley, we're about to get soaked.

From Saturday night to Tuesday evening, Sacramento is expected to receive between 1/2 and 1 inch of rain. The foothills and areas north of Sacramento will be wetter; the forecast for Grass Valley is 2 to 3 inches. Thunderstorms and windy conditions will be part of this wild weather mix, too.
Don't forget to turn off the sprinklers.

Sacramento's average monthly rainfall for May is less than 3/4 inch; we may get all of that in this one storm. After this cold front heads east, temperatures will return to the lows 80s -- normal for mid-May.

Put off transplanting seedlings until after the storm. They could be damaged by too much wind and rain while also coping with root shock.

Add some coneflowers to the garden for color -- and for beneficial insects
and pollinators.
Meanwhile, concentrate on maintenance and a little garden TLC.
* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.
* Also watch out for fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and rust. Remove and dispose of infected leaves.
* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.
* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.
* As spring-flowering shrubs finish blooming, give them a little pruning to shape them, removing old and dead wood. Lightly trim azaleas, fuchsias and marguerites for bushier plants.
* After the storm, there will still be time to plant tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings.
* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.
* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.
* Keep an eye on fast-developing fruit. Cherries may be damaged by this storm system.
* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.
* Plant dahlia tubers.
* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia 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 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

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

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* 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 fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* 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.