November Tips & Events for Santa Clara County
Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him.” ~ Hal Borland
Monthly Tips
Mystery photo for quiz
Quiz: What Are These?

Can you guess what these are? You might find them growing out of a lawn or a pile of mulch. They may appear in a different color and can grow as fast as four to six inches per hour. Many people find them unattractive, but they can be beneficial for your landscape. Scroll down to learn what they are.

Photo: R. Michael Davis, UC
Make a Plan for Peach Leaf Curl
Have your peach or nectarine leaves ever looked like this? These puckered leaves are a classic springtime symptom of peach leaf curl. Severe cases can substantially reduce fruit production. Prevent this disease by applying a copper-based fungicide shortly after the leaves drop. Use a second application in late winter if there’s a lot of rain this season. Once the blossoms open and leaves appear, it’s too late to do anything. Spraying during the growing season won’t help. If you haven’t seen this on your tree, you may have a resistant variety. If so, there’s no need to spray.
Peach leaf curl - Jack Kelly Clark UC
Photo: Peach Leaf Curl, Jack Kelly Clark, UC
Drought stress on magnolia-Magnolia- Missouri Botanical Garden
Drought or Disease

It can be hard to tell if a stressed plant is suffering from a disease or a lack of water due to the drought. Water stress causes plants to lose their leaves, shrivel and droop, with split bark and brown branch tips soon to follow. These symptoms could be mistaken for diseases that attack the plant’s roots and vascular system. But it’s also true that water-stressed plants can be more susceptible to pathogens due to their weakened state. Check soil moisture for your ailing plant, and if it’s dry, try irrigating the plant. If it doesn’t respond, contact the Master Gardener Help Desk for further assistance.

Photo: Drought stress on magnolia (Magnolia), Missouri Botanical Garden
Plant Wildflowers Now
Native California wildflowers herald the beginning of spring – and the time to plant them is now. Besides their showy display, they’re a habitat for local pollinators and a great way to cover up bare spots. If that’s not enough, they also require little care. Just select a well-drained and sunny site, remove weeds, and lightly rake the surface of the soil. Hand-disperse seeds and lightly cover with soil, no more than about ¼ inch. Gently tamp them down with the back of a rake and water. After that, let Mother Nature take its course – we hope with some rain!
Wildflowers at Martial Cottle Park - by Hank Morales
Photo: Wildflowers at Martial Cottle Park, by Hank Morales
Still Time to Plant Some Vegetables
Have you planted any winter vegetables yet? It can be hard to get seedlings established as temperatures drop, daylight hours decrease, and morning fog lingers. That’s why we recommend planting most cool-season vegetables earlier in the fall. But you might still have luck transplanting leafy greens such as lettuce, arugula, spinach, and kale, as well as fast growers like radishes and cilantro. In our vegetable planting chart, check the column for November where planting might work for you. Remember that vegetables need at least 6 hours of sun for strong, healthy growth.
Photo: UC ANR
Mulch Bare Soil Before Rains
Bare soil cracks when it's dry cover it with mulch before rains - Joe Boggs - OSU Extension
Mulch isn’t just for the summer. Yes, it’s good for conserving soil moisture and keeping the ground cool, but it’s important in the rainy season too. Bare soil that’s open to rain, wind, and sun becomes compacted and hard. Rain tends to run off instead of getting absorbed. Compare a patch of bare soil with one that’s been deeply mulched, and you’ll see the difference. An organic mulch that slowly decomposes keeps the soil beneath it moist and loose, plus it will suppress the weeds that will be sprouting with the rains.
Photo: Joe Boggs, OSU Extension
Stinkhorns come in many shapes and sizes- Photos clockwise from upper left- Tom Volk- Ted Geibel Troy Bartlett and Gloria Schoenholtz -From the Wisconsin Extension
Quiz Answer: Stinkhorn Mushroom

Stinkhorns get their name from their foul odor, described by some people as a rotting meat smell. The smell attracts insects which then spread the mushroom spores. While the smell is unappealing, stinkhorns are short-lived, and they help break down organic matter into the soil. They are most likely to appear in cool, wet weather. UC has management advice for mushrooms and other nuisance fungi in lawns.
Photos: Stinkhorns come in many shapes and sizes. Clockwise from upper left: Tom Volk, Ted Geibel, Troy Bartlett, and Gloria Schoenholtz. From the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension.
Upcoming Events
Our monthly Plant Clinic Online is an opportunity to chat with a Master Gardener via Zoom to diagnose a plant problem. You can also listen and learn while other people ask questions. It takes place on the second Saturday of the month (Nov 12), from 10–noon. Priority will be given to questions that are emailed in advance; instructions are in the Zoom registration confirmation. Registration required.

Fruit Tree Basics: 3-Week Course, Tuesday, November 1, 6:30–8 pm, FUHSD Adults School, PLC 2, 589 W. Fremont Avenue, Sunnyvale

Growing Succulents in Pots - a Hands-on Workshop, Friday, November 4, 5:30–6:30 pm, Veggielution SoFA Pocket Park, 540 S. 1st Street, San Jose

Cool Season Vegetable Garden Pests and Problems, Saturday, November 5, 10–11 am, Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Drive, Palo Alto

Plant Clinic, Saturday, Nov 12, 10 am–noon, Online

Succulent Open House & Sale, Saturday, November 19, 9 am–noon, 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:

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