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 Oct. 7

Love kale? Time to get transplants in the ground. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)

How much moisture did your garden get? Plan and plant accordingly

In its first few days, October already feels different than the month before. That included a splash of measurable rain.

While some parts of the Sacramento region received a healthy dose, many neighborhoods felt barely a trickle. Sacramento Executive Airport reported 0.04 inches since Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

That brings Sacramento’s 2018 total to 13.58 inches, actually more than an inch above normal for that period. (Sacramento’s average October rainfall total is just under 1 inch.)

Before shutting off the sprinklers or dragging out the hose, check the soil. It will tell you how far recent rain reached or if more water is needed.

Try to push a long-handled screwdriver or other soil probe into the ground. If you can’t push it in easily more than 2 inches, your garden likely needs more water than that first storm provided.

If in doubt, use a trowel and look at the soil, Moisture should reach at least 4 inches deep.

While you have the trowel out:

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioluses, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins. A little boost now will benefit their spring flowers, too.

* Clean up the summer vegetable garden and compost disease-free foliage.

* Harvest pumpkins and winter squash.

* Plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants for instant color, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* In the vegetable garden, plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas. Plant garlic and onions.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, lettuce and other cool-weather favorites.

* Chill spring-blooming bulbs. Tulips and hyacinths need six weeks in the refrigerator before planting. Avoid storing bulbs with apples or pears.


0 comments have been posted.

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Taste Fall! E-cookbook

Muffins and pumpkin

Find our fall recipes here!

Local News

Ad for California Local

Thanks to our sponsor!

Summer Strong ad for

Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Dec. 10:

Take advantage of these dry but crisp conditions. It’s time to get out the rake!

* Rake leaves away from storm drains and keep gutters clear.

* Fallen leaves can be used for mulch and compost. Chop up large leaves with a couple of passes with a lawn mower.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Without their foliage, trees are easier to prune.

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

* Make sure to take frost precautions with new transplants and sensitive plants. Mulch, water and cover tender plants in the late afternoon to retain warmth.

* Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Don’t water succulents before frost; cover instead. Use cloth sheets, not plastic. Make sure to remove coverings during the day.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eaves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Plant garlic (December's the last chance -- the ground is getting cold!) and onions for harvest in summer.

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

Taste Spring! E-cookbook


Find our spring recipes here!

Taste Summer! E-cookbook


Find our summer recipes here!