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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Nov. 5

Fall weather (including some rain) arrives as we 'fall back' to standard time; remember to reset your clocks

This Roman Warrior tomato very likely won't get a chance to turn red outside. High temperatures are dropping this next week into the 60s. Best to pick the remaining green tomatoes and let them ripen indoors.

This Roman Warrior tomato very likely won't get a chance to turn red outside. High temperatures are dropping this next week into the 60s. Best to pick the remaining green tomatoes and let them ripen indoors. Kathy Morrison

As we prepare to “fall back,” our weather is definitely turning towards autumn with cooler temperatures and some definite rain.

According to the National Weather Service, Northern California can expect to get wet in the next few days. But how much rain?

“Another round of showers is forecasted next week beginning on Monday,” tweeted the NWS Sacramento office. “Higher rainfall totals are expected north of I-80 and in higher elevations. You can check your local forecast by visiting and typing in your city or zip code!”

Clouds will start rolling in on Sunday along with a big drop in temperatures. After summery days in the 80s, Sacramento’s forecast high on Sunday is only 71 degrees – and it gets cooler from there. The weather service predicts highs in the low to mid 60s all next week.

As of Saturday morning, Sacramento can expect 0.1 to 0.25 inches from this storm – not enough to turn off the irrigation, but it’s a start.

More rain is on the way, too. A second light storm is expected to arrive Friday – just in time to dampen next weekend.

Make the most of moist soil; finish planting your cool-season garden.

And don’t forget to turn back your clocks before you go to bed Saturday night; standard time returns Sunday. “Enjoy the extra hour of sleep,” says the weather service. “You’ve earned it with the darker mornings and evenings.”

* This damp, cool weather likely will finish off the last of the tomatoes. Pick the green tomatoes to ripen indoors and pull the vines.

* Pull other faded annuals and vegetables.

* Prune dead or broken branches from trees.

* Plant bulbs for spring bloom. Some possible suggestions: daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, tulips, anemones and scillas.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers.

* Now is the best time to plant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from fall and winter rains.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea, sweet alyssum, bachelor buttons and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.


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Garden Checklist for week of April 14

It's still not warm enough to transplant tomatoes directly in the ground, but we’re getting there.

* 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 (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 needs nutrients. Fertilize 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, 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.

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

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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