Gardening in Sacramento, CA

My wife and I are moving from Olympia, Washington, to Sacramento, California, in September for a new job. In the Olympia area, we have fairly mild temperatures since we are at sea level and a lot of rain. So everything stays green (WA is called the Evergreen State). In contrast, I heard that Sacramento is quite dry and gets very hot in the summer. Besides cacti, what do you have in your gardens? Is there strict rationing of water during the warmer months? We like to take care of our garden in Washington. But we are wondering if it would be better to live in a condo in Sacramento or a residential community where garden maintenance is provided. Thanks for any information.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Gardening in Sacto is a pleasure. Yes, it is really different from Oly and it IS hot and dry. No rain here in summer, temps now are high 80s day and high 50s night. You will have some marine air and breezes that keep it cooler in summer at times. There is a great combination of cold enough and hot enough to give you a tremendous variety of plants to grow. No we are not restricted to cacti! LOL Fruits that need some winter chill do well, and shrubs and perennials that need heat thrive. ( However if you do like succulents there is a fantastic variety of those that you never imagined....shapes and colors! ) Most plants grow rapidly and large in Sac. It will almost certainly seem to be a very alien place compare to WA, hills will be brown in summer, no rain, no snow (but plenty to the east in the Sierra) Are you familiar with Sunset Western Garden Book? If not see if you can locate a copy and read what they have to say, then browse thru the book and find all the plants you can grow in Sunset zone 14! Definitely if you like to garden you will need your own space. You can garden all year if you like. Winter rains are variable: sometimes quite a lot and other years not a lot. I am not aware of any water restrictions in many years. Yes, there are HOT spells, not too long.
I live about 80 miles north of Sacto where we have usually a little hotter summers and a little colder winters. I love it: gardenias are blooming, oleander, daylilies, roses, bottlebrush, ferns, tomatoes are almost ready, ferns, callas; azaleas and camellias in spring; the list goes on and on. Welcome. Emilie NorCal
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You will Emily said the temps NOW, at the end of May in a cool year, are in the high 80's. AC is what makes this all work. You will see lots of 100 F days in Sacramento. However, it is fairly dry heat. It's not a desert. Rice farming is done just to the north. Water is abundant as the Sacramento River is near by. Southern California gets most of their water, these days from the Sacramento River and then it goes by canal and pumping stations to semi-desert of southern California. You know when it's winter in southern California, when you get a light rain. Sort of like what mid-westerners see in July. 2" or more and they can't handle the run-off. You know it's spring when the tumble weed are in bloom. The rest of the year is summer. At least here in northern California we have 2 distinct seasons. Up in the mountains, you get all 4 but they are of equal duration.
Emilie must live near Redding, which can get pretty hot but there the Central Valley narrows down and if you go up in the hill you can find something that will appeal to most anyone and a lot of what we call wilderness. Not far is Chico, home of Sierra Nevada Brewery, a very good beer in all its' incarnations. There is also the University of California at Chico (Chico State).
In Sacramento, you are about 90 min. from San Francisco and about 2 hours from Tahoe. Stay out of South Sacramento though, unless you are wearing the homies colors. You can get seriously shot.
It is odd. Here in Sonoma County, among the pastorial vineyards, there are more gang members (mostly rasa) per capita than in Los Angles.If it makes you feel better, the crime is mostly gang on gang.
But I digress . . .
- Bill Coloribus gustibus non disputatum
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Actually I am in Chico. Yes, Chico gets days over 100; Redding is hotter and being in a 'basin' the nights are hotter, too. Chico nights are almost always cool. Sac gets 'Delta' air, marine influence, which brings cooler air, but also more humidity. A mixed blessing.
Hurrah for Sierra Nevada, a real all American success story, and good too. I was just a Chico State yesterday to see the Corpse Flower in bloom. Beautiful campus with a creek running thru it. Magnificent huge trees.
Emilie in sunny Chico Sorry about your ten days of Gloom :^)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

snipped
You might want to look at
www.sacbee.com/inthegarden
for lots of information re: Sac gardening also click on 'Home and Garden" while you're browsing.
www.oldcitycemetery.com
look at photogallery and Historic Rose Garden
and
www.capitalnursery.com
Emilie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.