Home & Garden

Garden Checklist: Avoid getting bugged by hungry pests

Mosquitoes are busy early this year.
Mosquitoes are busy early this year. Sacramento Bee file

What’s the buzz? Mosquitoes are already out in force due to recent warm weather. They’ve come out of hibernation hungry and eager to bite.

If outdoors, wear long sleeves and long pants. Use insect repellant if necessary. Avoid being outside in the garden at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. Drain any standing water that may have accumulated in saucers under pots. For more tips, click on www.FightTheBite.net.

▪ In the vegetable garden, plant seed for beets, carrots, celeriac, celery, collards, endive, fennel, jicama, kale, leaf lettuce, mustard, peas, potatoes, radish, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips.

▪  Remember: Seedlings need to stay moist (not soggy). Water every two to three days to get seeds off to a healthy start.

▪  In a greenhouse or indoors, start seed for summer and winter squash, peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. They’ll be ready to transplant in late April or May.

▪ For spring and summer flowers, plant seed for aster, cornflower, cosmos, larkspur, nasturtium, nicotiana, periwinkle, portulaca, rudbeckia, salvia, snapdragon, verbena and zinnias.

▪ Feed roses and other spring-flowering shrubs, so they can get off to a fast start. Make sure to water plants before adding fertilizer to soil.

▪  Pull weeds now! Get them while they’re small.