Master Gardener Monthly Newsletter
January 2021
Featured Articles
Giving Tuesday
UC San Mateo/San Francisco Master Gardener Fund

A big THANK YOU to all who made generous donations on Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Thanks to you, our program raised over $5,000 in just 24 hours. We're so grateful for your support! Donations we received will help ensure UC Master Gardeners will be able to continue to provide knowledge and essential resources to the people of California, in times of crisis and beyond. Again, thank you for your generosity and supporting a healthier California. We look forward to sharing information and progress with you in the new year. Wishing you all a season filled with warm moments and cherished memories! Not able to donate on Giving Tuesday? Donations are always gratefully accepted!
Five Easy Houseplants
UC Master Gardeners Blog

We're spending a lot of time indoors so it's more important than ever to create comfortable and inviting spaces in which to live, work, and play. It's crucial to our mental and physical wellbeing! Many people are using houseplants to bring a bit of nature indoors. What does it take to keep a houseplant healthy, safe, and happy? It's fairly simple: good growing medium, water, light, and nutrients. Begin by keeping a simple database of each houseplant with its name, date purchased, size, and its light, water, and nutrient needs. Read more about this article that appeared in "On the Coastside Magazine" as well as other Blog articles.
Subscribers say "Thank You"!

Occasionally a subscriber contacts us for additional information, or just to say thank you. Recently we received this lovely email:

"We appreciate these informative newsletters and especially want to thank you for the pumpkin gift filled with succulents . We are both seniors who attend the programs at Fair Oaks and Veterans Centers in Redwood City. We are certainly very blessed and thankful in more ways."
Online Classes, Videos & More
Introduction to Home Food Preservation
UC Master Food Preservers
December 15, 2020, 3:00pm-4:00pm

Join the UC Master Food Preservers of San Mateo/San Francisco Counties for an introduction to safe home preservation methods such as canning, pickling, fermenting, freezing and dehydrating. Learn about food safety, kitchen supplies, tried-and-true recipes, and how to preserve your harvest for a year or more. Registration required.
Ranch Tours
UC Elkus Ranch
1500 Purisima Creek Road
Half Moon Bay, CA

Ready to get outside and try something different? Book a Private Ranch Tour for your social bubble! Tours are guided by one of our knowledgeable educators, bringing you through our gardens, historic barns, and animal pens. Groups can feed our sheep while learning about wool processing, learn the different adaptations of predators and prey, view our impressive animal bone collection, visit with our goats and miniature donkeys, and plant a seedling to take home. Please contact Leslie Jensen at or (650) 712-3151 to reserve your group's tour today. Read more.
Rose Pruning
San Mateo Arboretum/UC Master Gardeners
January 10, 2021, 1:00pm-2:00pm

Learn how to shape your rose bushes to encourage beautiful, profuse flowering with winter pruning and winter proper care. Discussion will cover equipment, safety in the garden and principles of pruning as well as demonstrating rose care techniques. Registration required.
Donate Excess Harvest
Drop off locations and/or Request a Harvest

Drop off: St. Francis Center, Monday-Friday, 10:30am to 1:30pm, 151 Buckingham Avenue, Redwood City, CA, or Holy Trinity Church, Tuesdays, 8:00am to 12:00pm, 330 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park, CA.

Do you need someone to harvest your fruit and citrus trees? Request a harvest.
Nature's Best Hope
California Native Plant Society

Doug Tallamy discusses simple steps that each of us can and must take to reverse declining biodiversity and explains why we, ourselves, are nature’s best hope. Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 103 research publications and has taught insect-related courses for 40 years. View video.
December and January Checklist
Grow Organic Peaceful Valley

The garden can get pretty bare in December and January, however there is still plenty of work to do. Here are some tips and tricks to help get your organic garden through the winter! View video.
Create a Holiday Wreath
Garden Answer

Learn to create a festive holiday wreath with natural materials from your own garden. View video.
Lyngso Garden Materials, Inc.

Lyngso is offering free videos of past classes, and some feature our very own UC Master Gardeners. Classes include: verebrate pest control, healthy soil, sheet mulching, cover crops, succulent landscaping, composting, and more! View videos.
Gardening Resources
Choose the affected plant from photos displayed, click on the photo, remove any selections that do not apply, click on the plant names, and continue to filter selections to view the results for a possible diagnoses. Learn more.

Select links to access gardening resources, California Backyard Orchard, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), publications, and finding a local Master Gardener program. Learn more.

Do you need help picking plants for your sustainable home garden? Selecting from the “Arboretum All-Stars” list is an easy way to start making “green” choices for your great looking garden. Arboretum All-Stars are top plants recommended by the horticultural staff of the UC Davis Arboretum. They thrive in California’s Mediterranean climate and have qualities that make them great choices for sustainable home gardens. Use a searchable plant database to pick the perfect All-Star for your garden conditions. For more information, view their website.
Ask A Master Gardener!
Do you need help with your garden? Have a pest problem? Curious about what will grow well in your region?

COVID-19 Update
Due to the “Shelter in Place” order issued by all Bay Area counties, including San Mateo and San Francisco, the Master Gardeners are working remotely, effective March 17, 2020. All questions can be directed via email.

Please provide the following information to facilitate a prompt response:

1.   Name
2.   City of residence
3.   Email
4.   Phone, best time to call
5.   Description of problem/question -- for plant or pest problems, please attach photo(s)

Since the Bay Area “shelter in place” requirements have kept many of us at home, gardening in your own backyard has become much more popular! We are seeing an increased interest at the Helpline from both new and established gardeners. It is fun to see many new gardeners asking for advice with questions such as “What do I do with these raised vegetable beds? ”and “How do I start a vegetable garden when I know nothing about gardening?” During the first 30 days of our “shelter in place,” we have had 147 helpline questions, with 17% of them asking about the Spring Garden Market. Many, many thanks to all of our Helpline Volunteers who are working the Helpline remotely and keeping our clients happily gardening!

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