Much cooler temperatures coming soon; plant now!
This six-pack of baby pak choi (bok choy), grown from seed, is about ready to plant in its permanent spot.
Get ready for some much cooler weather. According to the National Weather Service, our current flashback to summer heat will end soon.
“Today’s warm temperatures are expected to stick around through the weekend,” tweeted the NWS Sacramento office on Saturday morning. “But by early next week, fall weather returns and our high temperatures drop 6-10 degrees below average!”
Saturday's forecast has a high of 94 degrees with 91 on Sunday. But by Sunday night, the ridge of high pressure holding in that warmth disappears, allowing clouds, wind and the possibility of rain to sweep across the Central Valley.
Monday’s forecast high: 69 degrees. That’s 25 degrees lower than Saturday’s expected high. Sacramento could also get damp on Monday afternoon with 0.13 inches of rain predicted by the weather service.
The remainder of the week will pleasantly be in the 70s – perfect planting weather! Overnight lows remain in the mid to high 50s, keeping soil warm and roots cozy. It’s the best combination for getting transplants off to a healthy start.
So, what are you waiting for? Plant something!
* Trees, shrubs and perennials planted now will develop deep, strong roots. This is the best time to transplant water-wise varieties.
* Divide and replant perennials. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to the planting hole, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.
* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.
* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.
* Plant garlic and onions.
* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.
* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.
* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioli, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.
* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.
* Clean up the summer vegetable garden and compost disease-free foliage.
* Harvest pumpkins and winter squash.
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For week of Nov. 26:
Concentrate on helping your garden stay comfortable during these frosty nights – and clean up all those leaves!
* Irrigate frost-tender plants such as citrus in the late afternoon. That extra soil moisture increases temperatures around the plant a few degrees, just enough to prevent frost damage. The exception are succulents; too much water before frost can cause them to freeze.
* Cover sensitive plants before the sun goes down. Use cloth sheets or frost cloths, not plastic sheeting, to hold in warmth. Make sure to remove covers in the morning.
* Use fall leaves as mulch around shrubs and vegetables. Mulch acts as a blanket and keeps roots warmer.
* Stop dead-heading; let rose hips form on bushes to prompt dormancy.
* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs.
* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.
* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.
* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location – and definitely indoors overnight. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they’ll bloom again next December.
* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.
* Plant spring bulbs. Don’t forget the tulips chilling in the refrigerator. Daffodils can be planted without pre-chilling.
* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers and plant such spring bloomers as sweet peas, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.
* Plant trees and shrubs. They’ll benefit from fall and winter rains while establishing their roots.
* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.
* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.
* Plant garlic and onions.
* Bare-root season begins now. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb.
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