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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of June 2


To prompt flowers and fruit set, give your tomato plants a boost of bone meal. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)
Get ready for your garden to explode


After an extra soggy May, summer has arrived. This first week of June sees several days forecast for the low 90s, just right for fast-growing tomatoes and squash.

According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento averages high temperatures of 87 degrees in June, but regularly reaches triple digits. The June record is 115 degrees.

But things can turn suddenly chilly, too. The record low is 41.

The immediate forecast looks perfect for summer vegetables: Hot (but not too hot) days and warm nights with lows above 60. Expect your garden to explode!

*Warm weather brings rapid growth in the vegetable garden, with tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons and squash enjoying 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. Most plants require five gallons total a week. Don't let them dry out completely. That can encourage blossom-end rot

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, melons, 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, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* 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.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

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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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