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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Dec. 8



Those are limes on the right, not lemons -- they're ripening and need to be picked soon. The satsuma mandarins on the left should be harvested, too. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

After soggy start, dry gardening days ahead


Despite the soggy start, this week looks like it will have prime winter gardening weather.

According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento can expect several dry days after Sunday showers taper off. High temperatures will be comfortably in the 50s.

It's time to rake the lawn! (Photo:
Debbie Arrington)
It's time to get outside and take care of business. Tidy up the mess left by the weekend's wind and rain. Rake up fallen leaves. Pick up citrus knocked down by wind. Make sure gutters are clear of debris.

Then, take advantage of that nice moist soil. Plant something. December starts bare-root season with new roses and fruit trees coming into nurseries or available online. It's also a good time to move dormant perennials.

Here are other early December tasks to add to your list:

* Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they're dormant.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers including calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies, primroses and snapdragons.

* Plant for spring, too, including sweet pea, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli seedlings also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Harvest lemons and other early citrus.

* Pick the last of the persimmons, pomegranates, pears and apples.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

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

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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