August Tips & Events for Santa Clara County
“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows. — Doug Larson
Codling moth on apple UC ANR Repository Jack Kelly-Clark
Apple “Worms”
If you find a worm in your apple—or worse, half a worm after you bite into it—it’s likely the larval stage of the codling moth. There are several treatment options, including hanging pheromone traps in the spring. But the best thing to do at this time of the year is to promptly clean up any fallen fruit below the tree. This keeps the larva from burrowing into the soil or debris to continue its life cycle. (You can cut out the damage and eat the rest of the apple.)

UC Pest Note: Codling Moth
Photo: Left, codling moth frass on outside of apple. Right, larva inside of apple, UC ANR, by Jack Kelly Clark
Apricot branch killed by Eutypa ucANR by Jack Kelly Clark
Prune Apricot and Other Fruit
Prune your fruit trees in summer after harvest to help keep them to a manageable size. This can be in addition to or instead of dormant pruning. Apricots are particularly important to prune by August so that the pruning cuts have six weeks to heal before the rains are likely to start. This prevents disease spores from splashing up and entering the tree. When pruning, first remove dead, dying, or diseased branches. Then remove branches that cross or point in an odd direction. Finally prune for shape and fruit production.

Photo: Apricot branch killed by Eutypa dieback, UC ANR, by Jack Kelly Clark
Honey bee on lavender UC ANR Kathy Keatley Garvey
Fragrant Lavender
Lavender has a variety of uses indoors and out. It can be used in the kitchen and in the bathroom. It attracts bees and butterflies as well as humans with its beauty and fragrance. Lavender grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. It needs water to get established, but can tolerate a fair amount of drought when mature. Prune it back almost to the ground after flowering to keep it bushy rather than leggy or woody, and to encourage lots more flowers. 

Photo: Honey bee on lavender, UC ANR, by Kathy Keatley Garvey
Cool season greens by Jennifer Baumbach UCCE Master Gardener Coordinator Solano County
Cool Season Vegetables
August is already time to start planting winter vegetables like beets, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. The plants grow well in cool temperatures, yet the seeds need warm soil to germinate. How is it possible to start new crops while the summer crops are still producing? You can start them in pots and transplant them when you remove the spent summer plants. You can interplant them with the summer vegetables which will be ready to remove by the time the new plants need extra space. Or you can wait a month or so and buy seedlings at a nursery. 

Photo: Cool season greens, by Jennifer Baumbach, UCCE Master Gardener Coordinator, Solano County
Smart irrigation controller US Dept of the Interior report
Water Conservation
There are many ways to garden and save water at the same time. Target water directly to the root zone. Water early in the day to minimize evaporation. Give time for the water to soak into the soil rather than running off. Water according to the weather and soil moisture. For ornamental plants, focus on ones that are drought tolerant. If you are watering efficiently, you are using less water than for commercially grown vegetables, fruits, and flowers. The Santa Clara Valley Water District offers rebates to help offset the costs of changing to efficient irrigation systems and plants.  

Photo: Smart irrigation controller, photo from US Department of the Interior Technical Review Report, Weather Based Technologies for Residential Irrigation Scheduling
Soil testing instruction at Green Gardener training Laura M. instructing
Green Gardener
You can encourage your gardeners (or those of your neighbors) to conserve water, which ultimately helps your bottom line as well as the planet. The Santa Clara Valley Green Gardener Program teaches environmentally friendly techniques to professional landscapers, garden designers, and homeowners. Weekly classes start September 10, Mondays in English and Wednesdays in Spanish, at the Vallco shopping center in Cupertino. Upon successful completion of the ten-week program, your gardener will get a certificate and you will get a healthier yard. You can call 408-522-2700 to register, find more information at the Watershed Watch website , or print out a program flyer to pass out to gardeners in your area.

Photo: Soil testing instruction at Green Gardener training, courtesy of WMS Media
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Plant Advice table at 2018 Spring Garden Market by Malar Bose
Upcoming Events
We offer lots of free or low-cost gardening talks, workshops, and courses all over the county, as well as hosting information tables at many community events. Please join us and bring your questions!

Photo: plant advice table at 2018 Spring Garden Market, by Malar Bose

Palo Alto Demo Garden Open Saturdays from 10 a.m.–noon (May–Oct)
Come see what we're growing at our edible and water wise gardens and get answers to your gardening questions. Feel free to bring plant pests or disease samples for identification. We're located at Eleanor Pardee Community Gardens, on Center Road near Martin Street, Palo Alto (v iew map ).

Sat, Aug 04, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Flower Cutting and Arranging Workshop , Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave, San Jose

Sat, Aug 04, 10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m., Looking Ahead to Cool Season Vegetables , Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Dr., Palo Alto

Sat, Aug 11, 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m., Planting California Natives in Your Garden , South County Teaching and Demonstration Garden, 9400 No Name Uno, Gilroy

Sat, Aug 11, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Growing Vegetables in Containers , Mountain View Library, 585 Franklin Street, Mountain View

Wed, Aug 15, 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m., Growing Leafy Greens in Summer and Winter , West Valley Library, 1243 San Tomas Aquino, San Jose

Sat, Aug 18, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Flower Cutting and Arranging Workshop , Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave, San Jose

Sat, Aug 18, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m., Sustainable Pest Management , Sunnyvale Teaching and Demonstration Garden, 433 Charles St, Sunnyvale

Wed, Aug 29, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Growing Onions and Garlic , Los Altos Library, 13 S. San Antonio Rd., Los Altos

Sat, Sep 01, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Flower Cutting and Arranging Workshop , Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave, San Jose

Wed, Sep 05, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Choosing the Best Indoor Plants , Cupertino Community Hall, 10350 Torre Ave, Cupertino

Sat, Sep 08, 11:00 a.m.–11:45 a.m., Growing Artichokes in your Garden , Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave, San Jose

Sat, Sep 15, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Succulent Designs in Containers , Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave, San Jose

Wed, Sep 19, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Growing California Natives , Milpitas Library, 160 North Main Street, Milpitas
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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