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

Get ready for warmer days ahead

As Sacramento weather finally feels like spring, expect rapid changes in your garden

Enjoy spring flowers while you can. They'll be gone soon.

Enjoy spring flowers while you can. They'll be gone soon. Kathy Morrison

Is your garden ready for the 70s?

Sacramento temperatures are expected to warm up dramatically – at least for a few days. After a rainy (and very cool) Friday, Sacramento could see 78 degrees on Monday, according to the National Weather Service. We’ll also see a warm and sunny Easter Sunday with a predicted high of 76.

Normal for this week in Sacramento: 71 degrees.

But another cold front is expected to tamp down temperatures again midweek with a high of 64 degrees on Wednesday and overnight lows in the low 40s. Don’t worry if you just set out your tomatoes; the long-term forecast sees more 70s coming soon.

Usually, we’re hotter by now. On average, Sacramento sees its first 80-degree day on March 27. We haven’t topped 80 degrees all year. March 13 and 17 both recorded highs of 68 degrees, and that’s as warm as it got all month. On Feb. 12, we hit 72 degrees (and expected an early spring); that was our warmest day of 2023. It’s been kind of damp and chilly ever since.

So far, Thursday (April 6) was our warmest April day at 65 degrees – six degrees below normal for that date. Nights have also remained cold; four out of the first five nights in April dipped down into the 30s with one frost warning.

That’s kept the ground cold, too, and slowed growth of many young plants – including weeds.

So, if your early vegetables are just kind of sitting there and doing nothing, that’s why. Blame the weather.

That excuse will soon be gone. With this rapid warm-up, be ready for change:

* Enjoy the last days of spring-blooming bulbs. Our cool March extended the season for daffodils, tulips, freesias and other spring favorites. They’re fine in 70-degree weather, but will quickly fade as we approach 80 degrees. Cut some bouquets to bring indoors.

After they finish blooming, these bulbs still need water so they can finish their growth cycle. Their foliage is collecting energy for next spring’s flowers. Remove spent blooms, but keep the leaves attached until they yellow.

* Keep an eye on soil moisture. Recent rain may have dampened the mulch, but what about soil roots? Is there enough moisture where plants need it? Use a soil moisture meter or a trowel; dig down 6 inches and look.

* Container-grown plants can dry out quickly in warmer weather. Make sure to give them a drink.

* Watch seedlings and new transplants. Keep them evenly moist. Mulch will help insulate their roots.

* Attack weeds. Don’t wait; weeds love, love, love this weather – especially after a little rain.

* Be on the lookout for powdery mildew. This fungal disease is triggered by warmer weather; 72 degrees is its sweet spot. Examine rose leaves or foliage on other vulnerable plants such as peas. If you see an infected leaf, remove it immediately.

For more on powdery mildew: https://ipm.ucanr.edu/QT/powderymildewcard.html.

Comments

0 comments have been posted.

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Taste Spring! E-cookbook

Strawberries

Find our spring recipes here!

Local News

Ad for California Local

Thanks to our sponsor!

Summer Strong ad for BeWaterSmart.info

Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

Taste Summer! E-cookbook

square-tomatoes-plate.jpg

Find our summer recipes here!

Taste Fall! E-cookbook

Muffins and pumpkin

Find our fall recipes here!

Taste Winter! E-cookbook

Lemon coconut pancakes

Find our winter recipes here!