Summer 2019
Succulents are among the easiest plants to grow and maintain -- indoors and out. They're great for gardeners who like bold color and texture but don't have much time to spend tending the garden. As an added bonus, many are deer and drought-resistant. In fact, the primary cause of succulent death is overwatering. Succulents add instant artistry to containers, attract hummingbirds, and they’re a cinch to propagate. Here's how to select and grow succulents .
Ferns: ancient plants for modern gardens
When you plant a fern, you’re planting a species that has survived on earth for 360 million years, back to the age of dinosaurs. These familiar plants have a long and interesting history -- and also happen to make lovely houseplants, lush green backdrops for shady nooks, and useful additions to flower bouquets. Here's what sets ferns apart, and why they're still growing strong after millions of years.
Fertilizer: what's in the bag?
If you're confused by the fertilizers, amendments, mulches, and myriad other items lining the shelves at your local nursery, you are not alone. Understanding what's in all those bags and bottles is easier than you think, so long as you understand what your plants need to grow and thrive. Here's a cheat sheet to help you understand the difference between feeding your plants and feeding your soil .
Ask the Experts

Dear Help Desk

Q. Gophers are destroying my lawn and garden. How do I stop them?

A.   Gophers are challenging -- capable of pulling an entire plant into their tunnel from below, and gnawing on plastic water lines and sprinkler systems. In a perfect world, every home would have an owl or hawk waiting to pounce, but since we can't always count on that, there are other strategies, including trapping. Here's how to manage gophers.

What is
Integrated Pest Management?
Integrated pest management, or IPM, is a holistic approach and process to solve horticultural pest problems that minimizes risks to people and the environment. IPM can be used to manage all kinds of pests anywhere – in urban, agricultural, and natural areas. Here's how IPM works and a real life IPM success story .
Seasonal Advice

 Harvest summer crops for optimal taste and texture
Each fruit and vegetable has an ideal window of opportunity for harvesting the best quality food. For some produce the harvest window is long. Others can go from sweet and tender to tough, starchy, pithy, mushy, or bitter virtually overnight. Knowing the best practices for harvesting your bounty enhances your enjoyment of all the effort you put into your garden. Here are some tips to help you identify the perfect time to pick !

Tips for keeping floral arrangements fresh longer
There's nothing like a fresh bouquet of flowers in the house. And snipping them from your own garden is additionally rewarding. Question is, how do you keep them looking their best for as long as possible? There are many tips and hand-me-down theories regarding the care of cut flowers. Some are helpful; others not so much. Here are expert tips for extending the life and beauty of cut flowers .

Summer to-do list

Lots to do in the garden these days! Be sure to take a moment to enjoy your garden as you dead head spent blooms and keep up with watering. Here’s a checklist to help you remember summer garden tasks.
Growing Edibles
Blueberries: fun to grow and super healthy
Blueberries are delicious and, as an added bonus they're the highest of any fruit for anti-antioxidants. One cup of blueberries delivers 14 percent of the recommended daily dose of fiber and nearly a quarter of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Here’s how to grow blueberries for years of sweet, nutritious fruit.
How to grow and harvest beets
Beets seem to be one of those "love 'em or hate 'em, no-one-in-the-middle" vegetables. Regardless, there's no denying that beets are attractive, packed with nutrients, and easy to grow. As an added bonus, they come in numerous sizes and colors. Here’s how to grow beets -- whether you're a beet lover yourself or live with someone who is.
Project Spotlight
Come see us at the Marin County Fair
July 3-7
This year’s UC Marin Master Gardener exhibit is an around-the-world experience, with horticultural stops in key Mediterranean climate regions. Our tent showcases plants from these spots, all of which are water-wise, pollinator-friendly, deer-resistant, and low maintenance. Plus, we'll be featuring a moon garden, glowing lunar-white to shine light on plants that shimmer in the moonlight. Marin Master Gardeners will be on hand daily to answer your questions. See you there!
Upcoming Garden Talks and Events
Don't miss our upcoming classes! UC Marin Master Gardeners cover many topics throughout the year. Here's what's on tap now.

Thursday, June 27
Edible Flowers -- Beyond the Beauty with UC Marin Master Gardeners Jenine Stilson and Keri Pon
7 to 8 pm
Sausalito City Hall Council Chambers, 420 Litho Street, Sausalito

Saturday, July 13
About Succulents with UC Marin Master Gardener Gary Bartl
1 to 2 pm
Novato Library, 1720 Novato Boulevard, Novato

Thursday, July 18
Introduction to Citrus Tree Gardening with UC Marin Master Gardener Joe Jennings
7 to 8 pm
Corte Madera Library, 707 Meadowsweet Drive, Corte Madera

Saturday, July 20
Lawn Replacement with UC Marin Master Gardener Marie Narlock
11 am to 12 noon
Mill Valley Library, 375 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley

Thursday, August 1
Introduction to Citrus Tree Gardening with UC Marin Master Gardener Joe Jennings
7 to 8 pm
Corte Madera Library, 707 Meadowsweet Drive, Corte Madera

Saturday, August 3
Mature Citrus Tree Gardening with UC Marin Master Gardener Joe Jennings
11 am to 12:30 pm
Larkspur Library/Larkspur City Hall, 400 Magnolia Avenue, 1st Floor, Larkspur

Friday, August 9
Secrets and Solutions to Rejuvenate your Pollinator Garden with UC Marin Master Gardener Ann-Marie Walker
2 to 3 pm
San Rafael Public Library, 1100 E Street, San Rafael

Friday, August 16
Introduction to Citrus Tree Gardening with UC Marin Master Gardener Joe Jennings
12 noon to 1 pm
Civic Center Library, Room 427, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael

What's that plant?
This little sweetheart is the picture of summer, with fragrant flowers and foliage and a cheery, tumbling disposition. Easily grown from seeds sown in spring, it's a natural in cottage gardens or any sunny setting. As an added bonus, it makes a soothing cup of tea when dried. What's that plant?
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Want to become a
Master Gardener?
Are you interested in becoming a Marin Master Gardener? Our trained group of 300+ volunteers is busy providing research-based gardening advice as part of the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) and UC Master Gardener Program. Applications for the 2020 training program are available now through September 6. Here's how to become a Marin Master Gardener and the program requirements.

Photo credits
Beets - Tracy Lundgren, Pixabay
Succulents - Quang Nguyen Vinh, Pexels
Fertilizer - Courtesy of UC Regents
Fern - Pixabay
Gopher - Creative Commons
Gophinator trap video - UC Regents
Blueberries - Joanna Kosinska, Unsplash
Apricots - Courtesy of UC Regents
Bouquet of flowers - Jane Scurich
IPM graphic - Courtesy of UC Regents
Echinacea - Gardensoft
Chamomile - Gardensoft