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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of April 2

No fooling: Chilly nights forecast, with possible frost

Cherry blossom time! This little Bing is starting to show off. Meanwhile, winter hangs on, givjng us lower-than-normal overnight temperatures.

Cherry blossom time! This little Bing is starting to show off. Meanwhile, winter hangs on, givjng us lower-than-normal overnight temperatures. Kathy Morrison

It may be April, but expect some chilly temperatures this week – and possible more frost danger.

How cold? “Dress for winter,” says the National Weather Service.

“Mild overnight lows this weekend will be followed by COLD lows returning early next week after the passage of a cold weather system,” tweeted the NWS Sacramento office on Saturday. “Use the weekend to plan ahead so you can protect your pets, plants and people!”

That cold weather system is expected to dump more snow in the Sierra, which already received more than 700 inches this winter. That’s plenty of moisture in our water bank.

For Sacramento, there’s no snow – or even more rain – but plenty of chill. The weather service predicts overnight lows in the mid 30s Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with “areas of frost” forecast for the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Make sure to cover any tender transplants.

Daytime highs continues to stay below normal, too. Afternoons will stay below 63 degrees until finally starting to warm on Thursday. Friday’s predicted high is a very comfortable 69 degrees – which is still below normal. Average temperatures for this week in Sacramento: 71 and 46.

What does this mean? It’s still too cold to plant tomatoes. Wait at least another week (or two).

Meanwhile, focus on what’s growing – which is a lot!

* Weed, weed, weed! Take a hoe and whack them at the roots. Aim for 1 inch below the soil line.

* 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 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.

* Feed 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, pumpkins, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

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

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist for week of April 7

The warm wave coming this week will shift weeds into overdrive. Get to work!

* Weed, weed, weed! Whack them before they flower.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* 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 is really hungry. Feed 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.

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

* Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings.

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