August Tips & Events for Santa Clara County
“The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.” ~Gertrude Jekyll
Monthly Tips
Quiz: What Is This?
What is marching in formation on this berry? Look closely and you’ll see barrel-shaped cylinders with concentric circles ending in a bull’s eye. You might find them on the underside of leaves or in plain sight on fruits and vegetables in your garden. Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to identify this otherworldly-looking platoon.
Photo credit: Judy Hecht
Quiz photo showing something on an ollalieberry
Apricot with dead branch caused by Eutypa
Prune Apricot and Cherry Trees

August is the best time to prune apricot and cherry trees in our area. By pruning at least six weeks before the first fall rains, you reduce the chance of Eutypa dieback. Also, pruning in August instead of earlier causes less regrowth which means less wasted energy for you and the tree. If you pruned during the rainy season in past years, you should check your trees for Eutypa infection and prune limbs at least one foot below any visible infection. This fungal infection can kill a tree if not managed.
Photo: Apricot tree with dead branch caused by Eutypa by Jack Kelly Clark, UC
Become a UC Master Gardener
Do you love gardening? Do you love helping other people learn? Master Gardeners are a group of passionate volunteers whose mission is to educate the public with science-based horticultural research from UC. Want to join us?

Our next training class will begin in January 2023. Visit our website to learn about our program and what we do as Master Gardeners. Then sign up to attend an information session (August 25, 30, or 31) to hear more about the 2023 training and learn how to apply. We look forward to meeting you.
Photo: By Tuan Hoang
Master Gardeners
Time to Start Seedlings for Fall Vegetables
Yes, it’s time to start seedlings for fall vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, beets, and fennel will take about 6 weeks to grow to transplant size. Greens such as lettuce, spinach, arugula, chard, and kale will be ready in 4 weeks. So for planting in mid- to late September, aim to start them in early to mid-August. You can grow them outdoors, but shade them from the hottest afternoon sun, and don’t let them dry out. See our vegetable help page for more information on cool-season vegetables.

Photo credit: Michigan State University
Oriental Fruit Fly Quarantine Ended
Oriental fruit fly
The oriental fruit fly quarantine that affected a large part of San Jose, Campbell, and eastern Los Gatos since last October has now ended. But if you notice a suspicious insect on any of your fruits or vegetables, check out the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Report a Pest website. There you can learn how to report a pest sighting.

Note that the county-wide Asian citrus psyllid quarantine is still in effect. See our website for restriction details.

Photo: Oriental fruit fly, by Jack Kelly Clark, UC ANR
Trees Come First during Drought
With no end of the drought in sight and water restrictions in place, Santa Clara County residents must make some tough landscaping choices right now – namely which plants in our yards should receive our limited supply of water? The answer is trees. Because trees take years to grow, they aren’t as easily replaced as other plants. Besides that, trees provide shade critical to cooling our homes while releasing oxygen and reducing energy use. Using a hose or a soaker hose, slowly trickle water in a large circle under the canopy of the tree (but not right at the trunk). Deep watering for two hours once every few weeks will keep established trees alive.
Tree with irrigation ring by Laura Lukes
Photo: Water trees with a soaker hose placed under canopy, by Laura Lukes
Photos: Green stink bug instar (nymph) stages by Herb Pilcher, USDA-ARS, adult by James Castner, University of Florida
Quiz Answer: Stink Bug Eggs

Those are stink bug eggs in the quiz photo above. Soon they will hatch, shapeshifting in appearance five times before becoming adults. Called stink bugs because they excrete a smelly fluid when disturbed, these insects feed on a variety of fruits, nuts, and vegetables, leaving blemishes and dark pinpricks in their wake. The best way to control them is to handpick eggs and bugs off plants and get rid of weeds where they may live. It’s not helpful to use insecticides because by the time you notice damage, the stink bugs will likely be gone already.
Upcoming Events
Master Gardener class being presented at the McClellan Community Garden in Cupertino photo by Donna Lee
The Plant Clinic Online will return in September. No Plant Clinic in August.

Container Gardening & Cool Season Planting, Friday, August 5, 5:30–6:30 pm, Veggielution SoFA Pocket Park, 540 S 1st St, San Jose

Preparing for the Cool Season, Saturday, August 6, 10–11 am, Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Drive, Palo Alto

Open Garden Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, Saturday, August 6, 10 am–noon, Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Dr, Palo Alto

Open Garden Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, Saturday, August 13, 10 am–noon, Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Dr, Palo Alto

Drought Tolerant Native Plants, Saturday, August 13, 10:30–11:30 am, Gilroy Public Library, 350 W 6th Street, Gilroy

Pesticides and Water Quality, Thursday, August 18, noon–1 pm, Online

Growing Lavender Successfully, Thursday, August 18, 7–8 pm, Online

Open Garden Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, Saturday, August 20, 10 am–noon, Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Dr, Palo Alto

Getting Started With Cool Season Vegetables, Saturday, August 20, 10–11:30 am, Martial Cottle Park, 5283, Snell Avenue, San Jose

Start Your Cool Season Vegetable Garden, Saturday, August 20, 1–3 pm, Master Gardeners Sunnyvale Teaching and Demonstration Garden, 433, Charles Street, Sunnyvale

Planning a Simple California Native Garden for the Beginner, Saturday, August 27, 10–11:30 am, Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Avenue, San Jose
Check our calendar for the latest schedule of events. Videos of many past presentations are also available.
About Us
University of California Master Gardener volunteers promote sustainable gardening practices and provide research-based horticultural information to home gardeners. Visit our website for more information including:

Have a gardening question? Ask us. We’re here to help!
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