June Tips & Events for Santa Clara County
“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden." — Elizabeth Lawrence
Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey
Native Bees
Bees are buzzing all around our gardens, especially if we provide a good habitat for them. Our native bees are not the ones that produce honey, yet they serve essential functions in the landscape and in the wild. They have evolved together with California native plants, and they pollinate these plants and keep them as a vital part of our ecosystem. Remember that native plants and native wildlife feed and support each other. You can help by planting their favorite food sources in your garden.

Photo: leafcutter bee on Calandrinia flower, photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey
Red and green bell peppers from UC ANR Repository
Summer Vegetables
There’s still time to put in your warm season vegetables from transplant. If you start now from seed, you simply will have a shorter harvest season. With the unusually cool temperatures we’ve had this spring, you won’t be too far behind vegetables planted earlier. Warm temperatures and sunshine are part of what make your summer vegetables grow. Particularly sun-loving vegetables include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons, and squash. And that includes “winter squash” which is so named because it is thick skinned and stores well over the winter.

Photo: red and green sweet peppers, from UC ANR Repository
Day lily by Jack Kelly Clark
We’ve recently been inundated with Easter lilies, we’re currently seeing our daylilies come into bloom, and we can look forward to tiger lilies later in the summer. While all are beautiful and may have similar flower shapes, not everything with lily in the name is a true lily, botanically speaking. True lilies are grown from bulbs. Daylilies, for example, are not true lilies – they grow from tuberous roots. Grow all these flowers in well-drained soil, and keep them evenly moist. Cut back the stems after blooming, and leave the leaves in place until they die back naturally. Most can handle some shade.

Photo: Daylily, UC photo by Jack Kelly Clark
Juniper bones courtesy of Midori Bonsai Club
Most of us have small spaces, and bonsai is an extreme version of fitting plants into small spaces. Some commonly used subjects are Japanese maple, juniper, and ficus. Bonsai is a real art form and takes a fair amount of time and attention. Local bonsai clubs offer instruction in techniques. Trimming and pinching are done to keep a tree miniature. Every couple years the plant needs to be removed from the pot to prune the roots and repot it in fresh soil. Fertilizer should be applied sparingly and only during the active growth season. It is very important to never allow the specialized well-draining soil mix to dry completely.

Photo: Juniper Bonsai, courtesy of Midori Bonsai Club
Mint planted in pot by Allen Buchinski
Garden Thugs
Plants that can spread beyond their designated area in a garden are nicknamed garden thugs. They may spread by rhizomes (below the ground), stolons (above the ground), roots, or other parts. Trying to dig them out can be futile if even a tiny propagating part of the plant is left behind. One solution to this problem is to plant them in containers rather than directly in the ground. But keep an eye on them to make sure nothing escapes the container. Roots can easily find their way through drainage holes, so make sure to rotate the container each time you water or perhaps monthly. This will also help to keep the plant balanced by varying the orientation to the sun.

Beware of Garden Thugs , UC ANR News Blog

Photo: mint planted in a pot to prevent "escape", by Allen Buchinski
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 Ask a Master Gardener Booth by Tuan Hoang
Upcoming Events
We offer 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!

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, Jun 01, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.,  Open House - Palo Alto Demonstration Garden , Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Dr,  Palo Alto

Sun, Jun 02, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.,  A Kid’s Exploratory Event: Using your Senses in the Garden  , Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Dr.,  Palo Alto

Sat, Jun 08, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.,  Open House - Palo Alto Demonstration Garden , Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Dr,  Palo Alto

Sat, Jun 08, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.,  DIY Drip Irrigation - A Step by Step Approach to How to Install & Maintain , Mountain View Library, 585 Franklin Street,  Mountain View

Sat, Jun 08, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.,  Garden Safety , Sunnyvale Teaching and Demonstration Garden, Charles Street Gardens, 433 Charles St.,  Sunnyvale

Thu, Jun 13, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.,  South County Round Table: Less Common Edibles , Gilroy Grange Hall, 8191 Swanton Lane,  Gilroy

Sat, Jun 15, 9:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.,  Succulent Plant Sale , Martial Cottle Park-Master Gardener Shade House, 5283 Snell Ave,  San Jose

Sat, Jun 15, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.,  Open House - Palo Alto Demonstration Garden , Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Dr,  Palo Alto

Sat, Jun 15, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.,  Container Gardening  , St. Louise Hospital Teaching & Demo Garden, 9400 No Name Uno Way,  Gilroy

Sat, Jun 15, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.,  Avocados! , Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave,  San Jose

Sat, Jun 15, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.,  Culinary Herbs , Berryessa Library Community Room, 3355 Noble Ave,  San Jose

Thu, Jun 20, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.,  Master Gardener Library Talk on Growing Your Own Culinary Herbs  , Rinconada Library, 1213 Newell,  Palo Alto

Sat, Jun 22, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.,  Open House - Palo Alto Demonstration Garden , Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Dr,  Palo Alto

Sat, Jun 22, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.,  Gardening for Birds - a “Walk and Talk” , Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave,  San Jose

Wed, Jun 26, 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.,  Backyard Composting: Dos & Don'ts , West Valley Library, 1243 San Tomas Aquino Rd,  San Jose

Wed, Jun 26, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.,  Low Water Ornamentals from Around the World , Los Altos Library, Orchard Room, 13 S. San Antonio Road,  Los Altos

Sat, Jun 29, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.,  Open House - Palo Alto Demonstration Garden , Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Dr,  Palo Alto

Tue, Jul 09, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.,  Spice it Up: Growing Garlic- Ginger & Chives , Saratoga Public Library, 13650 Saratoga Ave,  Saratoga
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 Help Desk (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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