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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Dec. 25

Expect a wet finale to 2022 with widespread rain

Our bare trees will get some wet post-Christmas decoration from the predicted storms this next week. Make sure your garden is prepared for the returning rainy weather.

Our bare trees will get some wet post-Christmas decoration from the predicted storms this next week. Make sure your garden is prepared for the returning rainy weather. Kathy Morrison

It looks like Northern California will get what it really needs this holiday season – rain.

According to the National Weather Service, the week after Christmas will be wet. Heavy rain is expected Monday through Friday, thanks to a series of late December storms. The weather service warned of potential impacts including road flooding, slick streets, rising creeks and rapid snow melt. The main question: When? Uncertainty surrounds the timing of each storm as well as amounts, says the weather service.

As of Saturday morning, the weather service predicts the first wave to hit the day after Christmas. Sacramento can expect morning fog on Monday followed by afternoon or evening rain. Those storms will build through the night along with gusty winds. Tuesday will see heavy rain especially early in the day.

More stormy weather is expected to hit Wednesday – or Thursday – or both – and hang around through Friday.

Bookending these storms are dry days on Christmas and New Year’s Day. (But still expect fog, says the weather service.)

Temperatures will be relatively mild: Low 50s in the afternoon and low 40s overnight. So frost danger is low, too.

Make the most of the gaps between storms. But beware of soggy soil; it can compact easily and rot new transplants.

* Rake up debris dropped by trees during storms. Keep drains clear.

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

* Prune roses.

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

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storage.

* 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.

* If you have a living Christmas tree indoors, get it outdoors as soon as possible. Potted evergreens need light.

* Plant garlic and onions for harvest in summer.

* Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb.

* Got bulbs? Plant them in pots.


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Garden Checklist for week of April 14

It's still not warm enough to transplant tomatoes directly in the ground, but we’re getting there.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden needs nutrients. Fertilize shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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