March Tips & Events for Santa Clara County
"When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited. Ramakrishna
Spring Garden Market April 8, 2017
Selecting tomatoes at our Spring Garden Market
Join us Saturday, April 8 for our annual Spring Garden Market! It will be held at History San Jose (directions and parking info) from 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Come early for the best plant selection. This is our premier plant sale, sustainable gardening showcase, and vendor fair, as well as our major fundraiser for the year. We grow varieties not readily available, selected for outstanding taste, beauty, and performance in our soil and climate.

Potting Up
Whether you started vegetables from seed, bought seedlings, or are planning to get your plants at our Spring Garden Market, they will start outgrowing their original pots. If the ground isn't yet warm enough for them to be planted into the garden, transplant them into larger pots to keep the roots and plants growing well. They should be transplanted at the same soil depth, except for tomatoes which can be planted deep and will grow additional roots along the stem. Try to wait until May before planting heat-loving vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and squash outside.

Planting Perennials
Spring is a good time to plant ornamental trees and shrubs. Planting now will give them some time to establish their root systems before being stressed by summer heat. Dig a hole wider than the size of the root ball to make it easier for the roots to spread out into loosened soil and the same depth as the new plant. If you amend the planting hole with compost or planting mix, try to do it in such a way that there is a gradual transition between the amended soil and surrounding native soil. California natives are best planted in native soil, without amendments.

Planting California natives
Water Conservation
We've had an abnormally wet winter, and many of the local municipalities are starting to ease water restrictions. But it’s important to remember that we can't count on this level of moisture and it's best to keep the long-term climate in mind when choosing landscape plants such as trees. It would be wise to continue the California trend of choosing more drought-resistant plants including California natives which have the additional benefits of pairing well with our native soils and native fauna.

Checking soil moisture by hand
When To Resume Watering
We have had a very wet winter, and as the sun starts to shine more we will see the ground surface drying out. But for gardening it is more important to know what is happening below the surface where the roots are. Our Santa Clara County clayey soils have small particles and small pore spaces and they tend to hold onto water for a long time. A sustained saturated soil is not healthy for the plant roots or the beneficial organisms that live in the ground. Use a soil moisture meter or to dig a small hole to see how wet it is down several inches.

Busy Bees
Bees serve a vital function in pollinating plants and providing food for humans, and there is much in the news about the decreases in their populations. While there are various theories behind bee colony collapse, we do know that they and all living creatures are potentially vulnerable to toxic chemicals. Be extra vigilant about using chemicals only as a last resort, particularly during the spring when there are so many blossoms attracting bees.  

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Upcoming Events
Sat, Apr 01, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m., Getting Ready for the Summer Garden, Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Dr., Palo Alto 

Mon, Apr 03, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Annual and Perennial Flowers for your Spring and Summer Garden, Morgan Hill Library, 660 W. Main Ave., Morgan Hill 

Wed, Apr 05, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Building a Raised Bed for Vegetable Gardening, Gilroy Library, 350 W. Sixth St., Gilroy 

Sat, Apr 08, 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., Spring Garden Market, History Park, 1650 Senter Road, San Jose 

Sat, Apr 15, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Win the Weed War, Martial Cottle Park, Master Gardener Parcel, 5283 Snell Ave., San Jose 

Sat, Apr 15, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m., Growing Tomatoes: Remember the Basics, Sunnyvale Teaching and Demonstration Garden, Charles Street Gardens, 433 Charles St., Sunnyvale 

Mon, Apr 17, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Sustainable Vegetable Gardening: Six-Week Class, Education Resource Center Cafe, FUHSD Adult School, 591 W. Fremont Ave., Sunnyvale 

Wed, Apr 19, 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m., Growing Summer Vegetables, West Valley Branch Library, 1243 San Tomas Aquino Rd., San Jose 

Thu, Apr 20, 10:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m., Army Reserve Earth Day Fair, US Army Reserve 63rd Regional Support Command, 230 R.T. Jones Rd., Mountain View 

Thu, Apr 20, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Beginning Gardening: A 3-Week Course, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy Visitor and Education Center, 438 Coleman Ave., San Jose 

Thu, Apr 20, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Plants that Attract Birds, Bees, and Beneficial Insects, Palo Alto Rinconada Library, 1213 Newell Rd., Palo Alto 

Fri, Apr 21, 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., Kaiser Permanente Earth Day, Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center, Breezeway between 1 and 2 North, 260/270 International Circle, San Jose 

Sat, Apr 22, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Spring Garden Market at Guglielmo Winery, Guglielmo Winery, 1480 E. Main St., Morgan Hill 

Sun, Apr 23, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Earth Day, Temple Emanu-El, 1010 University Ave., San Jose 

Tue, Apr 25, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Growing Summer Vegetables, Campbell Library, 77 Harrison Ave., Campbell 

Wed, Apr 26, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Growing Uncommon Vegetables, Los Altos Public Library, 13 S. San Antonio Rd., Los Altos 

Fri, Apr 28, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Gamble Spring Tour: Gather in the Garden, Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto 

Sat, Apr 29, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Gamble Spring Tour: Gather in the Garden, Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto 

Sat, Apr 29, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Warm-Season Planting, St. Louise Hospital Teaching and Demonstration Garden (South County Teaching and Demo Garden), 9400 No Name Uno Way, Gilroy 

Sat, Apr 29, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Fruit Trees in Smaller Spaces, Mountain View Public Library, Community Room, 585 Franklin St., Mountain View 

Sat, May 06, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., A Taste of the Valley of Heart's Delight, Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave., San Jose 

Sat, May 06, 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m., Growing Terrific Tomatoes, Martial Cottle Park, Master Gardener Parcel, 5283 Snell Ave., San Jose 

Sat, May 06, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m., Don't Squash That Bug, Martial Cottle Park, Master Gardener Parcel, 5283 Snell Ave., San Jose 

Sat, May 06, 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m., Gardening with California Native Plants, Martial Cottle Park, Master Gardener Parcel, 5283 Snell Ave., San Jose 

Sat, May 13, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Your Bee-Friendly Garden, Guadalupe River Park Gardens, 438 Coleman Ave., San Jose
Visit the UC Master Gardener Program website  for additional information including an up-to-date list of events and classes .

Have a gardening question? Contact our Hotline (for Santa Clara County residents).Start by reviewing our plant problem diagnosis tips.

  • Mon-Fri 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., 408-282-3105
  • Fri ONLY 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m., 650-329-1356 (Closed Dec. & Jan.)
  • Or send us your question online

The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Santa Clara County Master Gardener Program volunteers are trained under the auspices of the UCCE. Our mission is to promote sustainable gardening practices by providing up-to-date, research-based horticultural information to home gardeners.

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