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 April 9

Spring-like days finally arrive (but still too cold for happy tomatoes)

Don't forget to enjoy the early spring bloomers  -- such as these summer snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum) -- before they fade in warmer weather. Trim spent flowers but not leaves of any spring bulbs.

Don't forget to enjoy the early spring bloomers -- such as these summer snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum) -- before they fade in warmer weather. Trim spent flowers but not leaves of any spring bulbs.

Kathy Morrison

The Easter Bunny is bringing us some sunshine. According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento can expect a sunny Easter Sunday – and Monday – with temperatures in the high 70s.

“The warming trend begins today, despite some cloud cover,” tweeted the NWS Sacramento office on Saturday morning. “Even warmer temperatures are forecast for Sunday and Monday when many locations will see their warmest day of the year (so far).”

The forecast calls for 78 degrees on Monday – 16 degrees warmer than Friday, which also saw 0.15 inches of rain. Normal for this week of April: 72 degrees.

Now for the real question: Is it warm enough to plant tomatoes? Yes – and no. Those afternoons in the 70s are mighty tempting, but the soil is still cold.

Not helping those early tomatoes, Sacramento will be right back down in the low 60s on Wednesday with a forecast high of 64, and overnight lows will continue to linger in the low 40s every night but Monday and Tuesday.

The good news: Many more warm days are coming soon, says the weather service. Next weekend’s forecast also calls for highs in the 70s. The later you wait this month, the happier your tomato transplants will be.

If you must plant tomatoes this week, give them some extra protection and warmth such as heat caps and mulch.

Elsewhere in the garden:

* 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.

* 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.

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

* Plant summer-blooming perennials, gladiolus and dahlia tubers.

* Transplant lettuce and kale seedlings.


0 comments have been posted.

Taste Spring! E-cookbook


Find our spring recipes here!

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Thanks to our sponsor!

Be Water Smart

Local News

Ad for California Local

Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

Contact Us

Send us a gardening question, a post suggestion or information about an upcoming event.