It’s time to plant now – or wait until next year. Memorial Day weekend traditionally represents the cutoff time for planting tomatoes in Sacramento. Any later and those vines may grow, but develop little fruit.
Basil, a favorite accompaniment to tomatoes, does well planted now, too. Your transplants will enjoy early June’s usually mild weather as they put down roots and get acclimated.
▪ This week, you can still transplant seedlings for eggplants, peppers and squash as well as tomatoes. Look for varieties that mature in 75 days or less.
▪ From seed, plant corn, beans, pumpkins, radishes, squash and sunflowers.
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▪ Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.
▪ Plant seeds for sunflowers, asters, cosmos, salvia and zinnias.
▪ Don’t forget to water! Yes, we still need to conserve, but it’s important to keep those seedlings and transplants hydrated. Seeds need consistently moist (not soggy) soil to sprout; don’t let them dry out or your work (and seeds) will go to waste.
▪ Feed the roses. After their initial big burst of spring bloom, they’ve worked up an appetite while depleting a lot of energy. Trim off the spent flowers, then fertilize with a balanced mix such as 12-12-12. Make sure to water bushes well before adding fertilizer (that prevents chemical burns to the foliage). The application rate for most granular fertilizers is 1/2 cup per bush, worked into the soil lightly in a circle within 18 inches of the trunk.