Master Gardener Monthly Newsletter
March 2021
Featured Articles
Spring Gardening Classes
UC Master Gardeners

Starting in February and ending in April 2021, five spring gardening classes will be offered by the San Mateo & San Francisco Counties UC Master Gardeners. Topics include planning a year-round garden, caring for tomato seedlings and other warm weather crops, planting a vegetable garden, growing herbs, and good/bad bugs on edible plants. The first class starts on Feburary 12, 2021, from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Continue to check our calendar for upcoming classes, and register! And view our new veggie database to help you plan your spring garden.
Book Discussion: “Planting in a Post-Wild World”
by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West
February 20, 2021, 10:00am-11:30am

Please join the San Mateo & San Francisco Counties UC Master Gardeners for an educational and thought-provoking book discussion. Zoom information to be provided following registration. Registration required.
Give Coyote a Chance
UC Master Gardeners

Boxwood. You see it all over, and for good reason. They are versatile, easy to prune and shape, and a lovely bright green. They've been a mainstay of residential and commercial landscapes, although slow-growing, rather fussy about soil, and are susceptible to root rot, branch cankers, and blight. They also need regular water. Baccharis pilularis is a great alternative. Although this sturdy native is typically overlooked, savvy gardeners are discovering it can do most anything boxwood can do and with none of its drawbacks. Read the full article and other articles on our blog page.
Online Classes, Videos & More
March Checklist
Grow Organic Peaceful Valley

Watch what you could be doing in your vegetable garden in March, and learn nine tips to prepare your organic garden for a successful growing season. View video.
Rain/Slugs/Snails, Garden for the Environment
Integrated Pest Management, UCANR

Winter rains in the Bay Area bring about lots of change, tons of new growth, weeds springing up everywhere, and, of course, lots of garden pests. Snails and slugs come out the woodwork ready to munch on young veggies or other tender greens in the garden. Read more.
Soil is a Living Organism
Plant Health Cure

Plant Health Cure (PHC) develops useful soil fungi, soil bacteria and plant-based fertilizers that stimulate soil life and make plants resilient. The aim is to reduce the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and chemicals as much as possible, without loss of production. View video.
Find an Alternative Plant to an Invasive Plant
PlantRight Invasive Plant List

Most of the plants used in gardens and landscaping do not invade or harm wildland areas, but a few species escape into wild landscapes and become a problem. When an aggressive plant is introduced to a new environment, the factors that would normally limit their growth in their native range may not be present. This allows them to proliferate, spread, and take over ecosystems. When you select an alternative plant instead of an invasive plant, you’re protecting the local environment against the many problems that invasive plants can cause. Read more.
Spring and Summer Vegetable Gardening
Lyngso/UC Master Gardeners
February 10, 2021, 1:00pm-3:00pm

We are so lucky to live in a place with year-round gardening opportunities. This time of year is perfect for planting your spring vegetables, seeding your summer garden, and enjoying vibrant and tasty spring greens. There will be a focus on soil health and best practices for keeping your soil alive and well, and review how and why to compost to feed your soil, which in turn, feeds your plants. Registration required.
Favorite Pollinator Plants, Stone Fruit Trees & Tips
UC Master Gardeners

Our Master Gardeners were asked what was their favorite pollinator plant, stone fruit variety, and Master Gardener tip. Read more.
Alpine Pond Virtual Tour
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

Join Midpeninsula Environmental Education Specialist Nina Vuoso on a virtual field trip around Alpine Pond near East Palo Alto. Learn about habitats, making nature observations, and taking notes outside. Then, take your nature observation skills on a walk around your habitat, your neighborhood. Great video to watch with your younger generation! View video.
Virtual Public Talks
American Assoc. for the Advancement of Sciences

To experience the virutal talks, you will need to first register. Some of the topics cover: How Drought Shapes Microbial Ecophysiology and Soil Carbon, Mapping and Modeling Microbes, Phosphorus and Climate Change, Developing Resilient Food Systems in a Disaster-Prone World, Turning Waste into Resources, and more. Registration required.
Six Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World
Paul Stamets TED Talk

Mycologist Paul Stamets lists six ways the mycelium fungus can help save the universe: cleaning polluted soil, making insecticides, treating smallpox and even flu viruses. View video.
Garden for the Environment in San Francisco
Virtual Classes

Garden for the Environment is San Francisco's teaching and demonstration garden, learn to garden with them. Their workshops teach people to garden sustainably and their instructors are gardening experts with years of experience. Current online events include: urban composting, winter fruit tree pruning, rainwater harvesting, beginning beekeeping, grow your own food in March, and more. View classes.
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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