June Tips & Events for Santa Clara County
"In June, as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. Aldo Leopold
Visit Us at Martial Cottle Park!
Visit our newest demo garden and see what we’ve been up to. Enjoy our thriving native and habitat gardens plus our summer gardens full of tomatoes, peppers, flowers, and more. Our four acre parcel is open four days a week (Tues., Wed., Fri., Sat.) from 9.a.m.–noon while we are working. Come chat with us and see the diversity. To learn even more, you are invited to work along with us and be part of creating this beautiful new agricultural park. 

Photo (below): Hank Morales
Entrance to the Master Gardener parcel at Martial Cottle Park
Tomato blossoms ready for pollination
Tomatoes vs Tomato Plants
If you have lush tomato plants but no signs of tomatoes, your plants may be getting too much nitrogen. The N in the N-P-K listed on the fertilizer package promotes green growth. The middle number, P for phosphorus, is for development of fruit and flowers. (A tomato is technically a fruit.) So choose a fertilizer with a slightly higher phosphorus number than for nitrogen for summer produce like tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and eggplant.

Photo: Tomato blossoms ready for pollination, Allen Buchinski
Flower Drop in Chiles
Chile plants may drop a lot of their blossoms when the plants are under stress. This often happens when we have a heat wave during the summer. This is usually not a cause for concern because the plant will put out more flowers and then fruit when conditions improve. You can help by making sure the plants have sufficient water and perhaps a little shade on particularly hot days.

Photo: The Pepper Team, Student Collaborative Organic Plant Breeding Education, UC Davis
Stink Bugs
A lot of damage can be done to fruit in the garden by stink bugs. These pests are usually brown and shaped like a shield. The best ways to manage them are to handpick them and to keep the garden clean. Affected fruit is unsightly and even inedible. And if you ever disturb or crush a stink bug, you will understand how the stink bug got its name.

Consperse stink bug
Photos: Consperse stink bug and stink bug damage on tomato, UC Statewide IPM Project
Repotting Orchids
Epiphytic orchids grow on tree bark in their natural settings. For that reason we grow them in a special orchid medium consisting of bark. They may need occasional repotting, either when the bark begins to decompose or when the roots start growing out of the pot. The plant can be gently pulled out of the container and put into a slightly larger pot with fresh bark. If any brown or rotting roots are spotted, they can be trimmed at this time.

Orchid Care
Photo: Orchid in need of repotting, Allen.Buchinski

Trees in Lawn Settings
Trees in lawns may have some aesthetic appeal, but they are not ideally grown together in the same space. They have very different watering needs and one or the other will eventually suffer. Grass needs frequent shallow watering while trees need infrequent deep watering. It’s also important to keep the sprinkler stream from repeatedly hitting the tree trunk because this can promote root and crown diseases. If at all possible, group plants with similar water needs. This is called hydrozoning. 

Photo: Tree Ring Irrigation Contraption, California Center for Urban Horticulture

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Upcoming Events
Sat, Jun 03, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.,  Accessible Gardening , Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Dr., Palo Alto

Tue, Jun 06, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.,  Designing a Native Garden , Gilroy Library, 350 W. Sixth St., Gilroy

Sat, Jun 10, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.,  What’s Wrong With My Tomato? , Mountain View Public Library, Community Room, 585 Franklin St., Mountain View

Thu, Jun 15, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.,  Make the Most of Your Irrigation System , Palo Alto Rinconada Library, 1213 Newell Rd., Palo Alto

Sat, Jun 17, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.,  Ornamental All-Stars from California , South County Teaching and Demonstration Garden, St. Louise Hospital, 9400 No Name Uno Way, Gilroy

Sat, Jun 17, 10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.,  Gardening in Containers , Martial Cottle Park, Master Gardener Parcel, 5283 Snell Ave., San Jose

Tue, Jun 20, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.,  Backyard Fruit Trees for Year-Round Harvest , Saratoga Library, 13650 Saratoga Ave., Saratoga

Wed, Jun 21, 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.,  Air-Filtering Houseplants , West Valley Library, 1243 San Tomas Aquino Rd., San Jose

Sat, Jun 24, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.,  What You Need to Know About Succulents , Sunnyvale Teaching and Demonstration Garden, Charles Street Gardens, 433 Charles St., Sunnyvale

Wed, Jun 28, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.,  Low-Water Lawn Alternatives , Los Altos Public Library, 13 S. San Antonio Rd., Los Altos
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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