Forecast mixes breezy weather with frosty nights
Warmer weather will prompt camellias into bloom, but frost is still in the forecast.
Hang on to your gardening hat; we’re in for more breezy conditions. Keep those frost cloths handy, too – and an umbrella.
According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento can expect a mix of blustery and sometimes downright cold weather this week. Light, gusty winds will push storm clouds to the Sierra on Saturday and Sunday. More breezy weather arrives later in the week along with a chance of rain Thursday night and Friday morning. The weather service pegs our chance of rain at 30% with only a trace in the forecast (so far).
In between, we’re in for some very chilly nights with overnight lows in the 30s. Widespread frost – and a low of 31 – is forecast for early Thursday morning.
Otherwise, Sacramento’s forecast will be mostly on the cool side with mid 50s forecast Tuesday through Friday. The exception is Super Bowl Sunday with an anticipated high of 67 – just enough heat to tease camellias into bloom.
Although it may feel like spring on Sunday, remember we’re still getting cold at night; plan and plant accordingly.
* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray on this Thursday or Friday when rain is forecast.
* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts. Feed camellias after they bloom.
* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.
* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.
* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.
* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.
* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).
* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.
* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.
* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.
* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.
* Set out flowering perennials such as columbine and delphinium.
* Plant summer-flowering bulbs including cannas, calla lilies and gladiolus.
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For week of Sept. 24:
This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?
* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.
* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.
* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.
* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.
* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.
* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.
* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.
* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.
* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.
* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.
* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.
* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.
* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.
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