Garden checklist: Weeding is an early spring priority

03/29/2014 12:00 AM

03/27/2014 5:15 PM

Early spring weather has produced a plethora of fast-growing weeds. That’s moved the task of their removal to the top of the to-do list.

• So, w eed, weed, weed! Get them out before they go to seed. According to master gardeners, the most common weeds in Sacramento County right now: filaree, wild geranium, bedstraw and such annual grasses as foxtail, barley, wild oats and bluegrass. Think of them this way: Every weed robs nearby plants of water. Which plant do you want to get that precious water?

• Use a sharp hoe instead of pulling weeds out. Cut the weeds off just under the root crown; aim for about a half-inch below soil level. That method disturbs soil less than pulling weeds and keeps new seeds from migrating to the surface where they can sprout.

• Dig manure and compost into vegetable beds and let it mellow for two weeks before planting.

• With warmer weather comes mosquito season. Empty standing water out of saucers under pots. Also, eliminate any other standing water that may have accumulated.

• In the vegetable garden , plant seeds for beets, carrots, celery, Swiss chard, endive, fennel, jicama, leaf lettuce, mustard, radishes and turnips.

• In the flower garden , plant aster, celosia, cosmos, larkspur, nasturtium, nicotiana, portulaca, salvia, snapdragon, verbena and zinnia.

• Protect early , warm-weather transplants with plastic 2-liter soda bottles or 1-gallon jugs. Cut off the bottom and leave the top open.

– Debbie Arrington

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