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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Nov. 19

Clear and cool conditions expected after Saturday's soaking

The ripening mandarins and the rest of the garden were getting a good soaking Saturday, but the weather is expected to be drier during Thanksgiving week.

The ripening mandarins and the rest of the garden were getting a good soaking Saturday, but the weather is expected to be drier during Thanksgiving week.

Kathy Morrison

Don’t worry; our Thanksgiving Day shouldn’t be soggy.

Saturday’s stormy start to our weekend will blow over quickly, says the National Weather Service. Strong, gusty winds will push out those thunder clouds by late Saturday night. But Monday, we’ll settle into a cool and calm pattern typical of mid to late November.

This looks like a good week to spray your peach trees. (Ideally, do it at least twice during the fall/winter: around Thanksgiving -- assuming the tree has dropped its leaves -- and again at bud swell just before the buds begin to open. That is usually around Valentine's Day, although can be early in warmer. drier winters.)

According to the weather service, Sacramento can expect about a half inch of rain from Saturday’s storm. That’s enough to turn off your irrigation system until at least the end of the week. Check your soil moisture, particularly in sheltered locations such as under eaves or large evergreen trees where rain didn’t reach.

Temperature-wise, Sacramento will be just about normal for November. Highs this week will hover in the mid 60s. Overnight lows will dip into the low 40s. Average for this month in Sacramento: High of 64 and low of 43.

No rain is in Thursday’s forecast – good news for Thanksgiving travel plans. The weather service says expect sun, a slight breeze and a high of 65.

Make the most of this week’s calm fall weather and damp soil. Get out and garden! (It’s a great way to burn calories after a big meal.)

* The weather conditions later this week look ideal for spraying dormant fruit trees. For sprays to be effective, they need at least 24 hours to dry.

* To help prevent leaf curl, apply a copper fungicide spray to peach and nectarine trees after they lose their leaves. Leaf curl, which shows up in the spring, is caused by a fungus that winters as spores on the limbs and around the tree in fallen leaves. Sprays are most effective when applied in late fall.

* Rake and compost leaves, but dispose of any diseased plant material (such as peach leaves infected with leaf curl).

* Give your azaleas, gardenias and camellias a boost with chelated iron.

* After they bloom, chrysanthemums should be trimmed to 6 to 8 inches above the ground. If in pots, keep the mums in their containers until next spring. Then, they can be planted in the ground, if desired, or repotted.

* Save dry stalks and seedpods from poppies and coneflowers for fall bouquets and holiday decorating.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while dormant.

* Plant more bulbs to spread out your spring bloom. Some possible suggestions: daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, tulips, anemones and scillas.

* Seed California poppies and other wildflowers.

* Plant sweet peas, sweet alyssum, bachelor buttons and other spring-blooming annuals.

* 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.

* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.

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

* Plant garlic and onions.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

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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