- Author: Jennifer Baumbach
It's definitely spring in my garden. I have one of those yards that pops in spring, but poops out as far as color goes when the weather heats up.
Today is a rosy day In Dixon. Mind you, I don't have a large variety of color differences from violet to orange, but what I do have is lovely all the same.
- Author: Toni Greer
Anyone that can tell me what plant this delicate tall yellow flower belongs to gets 5 points!
Do you give up yet? I'll give you a hint. It's a little out of its growing season. It is normally not quite as tall as in this photo and has wide deeply green leaves. Also, it's edible. That is, the fruit of the plant is edible. It is actually a Brussels sprout plant which bolted!
Just after Thanksgiving last year I decided to try my hand at growing them, even though it was too late in the season. I planted cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
We recently had the last of the yummy cauliflower and broccoli. The Brussels sprout plants gave their fruit to us in a different way. While I was disappointed not to be able to enjoy their flavor, I thoroughly enjoyed the tall (above my waist) yellow spires.
I guess that even when my experiments go awry, there can still be a happy ending!
- Author: Marshall Foletta
I used to enjoy a trip to the nursery, exploring the shrubs and flowers while trying to figure out where they could be planted in my already-crowded yard. But after buying a small ranch seven years ago, my thinking changed. Actually “ranch” is something of a misnomer, what we bought was 32 acres of wild grass—not a tree or shrub in sight. Now I had room for any-and-everything the nursery had to offer, an enticing but pricey opportunity.
That's when we took up scavenging—scouring the country-and-roadside for sprouts that could use a new home. In the bog running along the back of my neighbor's pasture, we found young poplars (Populus trichocarpa) that could be separated from the parent tree and successfully replanted. Cuttings taken from the large willow (Salix babylonica) down the road could be soaked until root hairs appeared and then sprinkled across the flat landscape. Some mysterious shrubs stolen from the edge of the irrigation ditch quickly grew and multiplied when planted along the sunny side of a turnout.
Not every experiment was a success. Small coastal redwood saplings (Sequoia sempervirens) carefully transported from our place in Sonoma County never had a chance. This was not a surprise, but the Manzanita (Arctostaphylos densiflora) and Huckleberries (Vaccinium ovatum) we thought would make it, did not.
We also learned that nature, if given time, would do its part to add some variety to our landscape. After we built a large pond to train our horses, we took great pains to surround it with some vegetation. Wanting to give our man-made pond a natural look, we transplanted cattails (Typha latifolia) from the irrigation ditch. They struggled, but a few hung on. Within a couple years, however, the pond had somehow generated its own vegetation—distinctive plants and wildflowers lined the water's edge, cattails covered the banks, even frogs, perhaps part of the some great amphibious migration, had made their way across miles of hostile country to find their promised land in our back yard. By then, the pond was so alive that the challenge was containing the growth, not stimulating it, cutting back the cattails and wild grasses that threatened to turn our pond into a meadow.
I still enjoy a trip to the nursery—there are things there I can't find in the nearby bogs and ditches. But I have to admit I find greater satisfaction in scavenging. The odds for success are much lower, but when a tree or plant takes, we all celebrate.
- Author: Jennifer Baumbach
Here are a few upcoming dates of events UC Cooperative Master Gardeners will be either putting on a program or holding an information table:
- Join the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners as they talk about All Things Tomato at the Vacaville Public Library, 1020 Ulatis Road, Vacaville. Their talk on April 17 will begin at 7:00 pm. This is a free presentation.
- Embrace the Earth with the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners at the Third Annual Earth Day Celebration, sponsored by The Sustainability Advisory Committee of Solano Community College. The date of the event is April 22. Master Gardeners will host an information table giving out home gardening information and advice. The event is from 10am until 1pm and will be located at the Student Union Quad, building 1400. The address for Solano Community College is 4000 Suisun Valley Road, Fairfield. This is also a free event.
- Learn how to do composting at home. The UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will take part in the City of Fairfield's Earth Day event on April 26 from 8am until noon. The location is the Civic Center Pond, behind City Hall at 1000 Webster Street, Fairfield. Master Gardeners will have an information table as well as do a composting talk for the public.
Other fun information can be found weekly on our FaceBook page at: https://www.facebook.com/solanogardeners
- Author: Betty Victor
Spring and summer are fast approaching, so the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners are getting ready for our information tables at the Farmers Markets in Vacaville, Benicia, Green Valley, and Vallejo. The Master Gardeners will be at these locations starting in May.
Here in Fairfield, if lieu of being at the Fairfield Farmers Market, we are setting up our information table in the garden section at Home Depot, 2121 Cadenasso Dr., Fairfield in April. The Farmers Markets will be starting sometime in May in the other cities where you can find the Master Gardeners information table.
Our starting date at Home Depot, Fairfield will be Saturday April 5, then you will be able to find us on the following Saturday dates at the Fairfield Home Depot:
April 5th , 19 -- May 3rd, 17th, 31st -- June 7th 21st -- July 5th, 19t August 2nd, 16th, 30 -- Sept 6th, 20th- ---Oct 4th, 18th.
We will be there from 10AM to 2PM. We are there to help answer your gardening questions such as “what are these spots on the leaves, or what is eating my plant”. Also “what is this plant?”
The best way for us to help you identify pest and disease, is to put a sample in a plastic bag and bring it to us on any of the above Saturdays.
That way it makes is much easier to detect the problem if we can see what is happening. If at the time we are unable to identify the problem, we will take your name and contact information and research it then get back to you with what we found and the best way to treat it.
You can also get in touch with us by calling 707-784-1322 (Master Gardener hotline) or firstname.lastname@example.org, which is our online helpline.