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Thunderstorms soak parts of Sacramento region

Watch out for leaning trees and cracked soil

Raindrops dot this euphorbia plant after Wednesday morning's storm. The Sacramento region received varying amounts of rainfall this week.

Raindrops dot this euphorbia plant after Wednesday morning's storm. The Sacramento region received varying amounts of rainfall this week. Kathy Morrison

How much rain did you get? Chances are – a lot!

Sacramento’s first atmospheric river of the 2023-24 rainy season gave our region a good, deep soaking. Starting Sunday night through Tuesday midnight, Downtown Sacramento recorded 2.61 inches, according to the National Weather Service. That includes a record 1.6 inches on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

Other parts of the greater Sacramento area received more – or less. Here in the Pocket/Greenhaven neighborhood, my rain gauge collected just under 4 inches. That includes some showers from Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, Davis recorded only 1.24 inches since Sunday, says the weather service.

Rain totals from the thunderstorms that blew across our region Tuesday afternoon illustrate the hit-or-miss tendency of this storm system. Sacramento Executive Airport recorded 1.55 inches in the 24-hour period of 4 a.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, according to the California Nevada River Forecast Center, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For that same period, Elk Grove received only 0.16 inches.

Also for that same 24 hours, Sacramento State’s rain gauge recorded 1.06 inches while the gauge at Arcade Creek-Winding Way in Carmichael received only 0.39.

While much of Sacramento was getting drenched Tuesday, Roseville, Fair Oaks, Rocklin, Orangevale, Lincoln and Rancho Cordova all recorded less than one-third inch.

A lot of rain in a hurry not only leads to possible flooding; it can destabilize trees – especially if followed by strong gusts of wind.

After the rain stops, take a look around your landscape. If you notice a tree leaning or cracks in the lawn or soil around a tree or large shrub, call an arborist. Those cracks are caused by roots being pulled out of place. You may need expert help to keep that tree upright.

Also be careful walking on wet soil; it can compact easily, squeezing out the vital air pockets needed by roots and microorganisms.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist for week of April 7

The warm wave coming this week will shift weeds into overdrive. Get to work!

* Weed, weed, weed! Whack them before they flower.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

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

* Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings.

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