UC Master Gardener Program
The University of California (UC) Master Gardener Program extends UC research-based information to the public about home horticulture. In exchange for the training and materials received from the University of California, master gardeners perform volunteer services in a variety of venues.
Check out the useful links on the left to answer your gardening questions.
North State Garden News
It can be so frustrating to see a young squash developing on the vine, then it withers at the end and doesn't grow any larger. What causes that? In most cases, it's a pollination failure. Squash, melons and cucumbers (cucurbits) have male and female flowers. Pollen in the male flower is sticky, so wind-blown pollination doesn't work and the plants need insects or human helpers to transfer pollen. There can also be a mismatch in timing if the female & male flowers aren't blooming simultaneously, so that pollination doesn't occur. How do you tell the difference between male and female flowers? The male flowers grow on slender, upright stalks and have a single stamen in the center of a flower. The female flowers have a swollen base (the beginning of your squash fruit) and the center of the flower has a cluster of anthers. In the photo, the female flower just above the baby pattypan is just about to bloom. The...
The cherries and peaches have begun to bloom at our office at the Young Family Ranch. That means it's too late for that last application of fungicide to prevent peach leaf curl. This hasn't been a wet winter, so if you sprayed your trees last fall your trees should be OK. Just relax and enjoy those lovely blossoms!
We're still far behind on rainfall this winter, so it's a good time to plan ahead to reduce water use. The Master Gardener Program has added information to their website to help you save water in your garden, landscape, lawn and trees. Check out Drought Gardening Tips. X
We had a fun workshop on fruit tree pruning last Saturday. Folks had some great questions about special pruning approaches for dealing with some of our mountain issues: bears and heavy snows. Like this little fella who offered to help me prune my fruit trees last spring... Conventional pruning recommends that you remove competing leaders if you're training the fruit tree to a central leader. I tend to leave small competing leaders in case I need a "back-up" due to breakage from a bear or snow. I remove larger competing leaders before they truly compete with the central leader. Where the bears or snow have removed my central leader, I've tried to re-train the fruit tree into a open center. I find that the open centers are subject to breakage from heavy snows. It is important to have strong branch attachment. Remove branches with narrow angles (likely to suffer from bark inclusion) in favor of scaffold branches with a 10 or 2...
Please join us for a fruit tree pruning workshop at the Young Family Ranch, 260 Oregon Street in Weaverville, Saturday, February 15th from 1:00 - 3:30 p.m. Starting at 1:00 pm, the workshop will provide a lecture/review on fundamentals of pruning, dormant vs. summer pruning, heading vs. thinning cuts, proper pruning cuts, disease prevention, appropriate tools and tool care, tips for restoring neglected, old fruit trees. At 2:00 pm, attendees can practice hands-on pruning with guidance from Master Gardeners. You can attend all or part of the workshops. Some tools and ladders will be provided. We encourage you to bring your own pruning tools if you would like to have them sharpened. Please dress warmly as the hands-on portion of the workshop will be held outside. In the event of rain, the lecture will be held, but the hands-on pruning will be cancelled. For more information, check out our website (cetrinity.ucanr.edu), call Carol Fall, UC Cooperative Extension, Trinity County...
Our first 2 training classes have been completed. There are now 30 graduates performing volunteer service throughout Trinity County by providing technical assistance and educational outreach in a variety of venues. Look for our upcoming workshops, booths at the Weaverville Farmers Market and Trinity County Fair.
We've received many requests for information on reducing water use in anticipation of drought conditions. The UCCE Master Gardeners of Trinity County have prepared a handout with Water Conservation Suggestions for your Home Vegetable Garden.
IPM Youtube Channel
Do you like to watch and learn? Here's a fun way to learn more about pests with the Integrated Pest Management channel on Youtube.
Bug Squad Blog
Say the word “wings” to folks who attend fairs and festivals and they may think of something to eat--buffalo wings or chicken wings. But if you head over to McCormack Hall at the Solano County Fair, Vallejo, you'll be thinking of insect...