- Author: Marcy Sousa (Hachman)
It feels like just yesterday the University of California Master Gardeners joined together for the 2011 UC Master Gardener Conference at the Hyatt hotel in beautiful Santa Rosa, Calif. It’s hard to believe it is already time to start thinking about the 2014 UC Master Gardener Conference on October 7th -10th, 2014 at the gorgeous Tenaya Lodge, near the south entrance of Yosemite National Park.
You Spoke, We Listened!
After each conference the Statewide Master Gardener Conference Committee strives to make the next event bigger and better for attendees. The committee meets following the conference and reviews previous glitches and setbacks to determine solutions and strategies for future conferences. Sounds a lot like gardening, doesn’t it?
This year we surveyed UCCE Master Gardeners from across the state and asked, “What topics do you want to see at the 2014 conference?” The committee has been diligently working on securing speakers, site tours and a seminar agenda that came directly as a result from your feedback.
General Track Topics Include:
- Edible Landscaping
- Sustainable Landscaping
- Integrated Pest Management
- Growing Leaders, Growing Programs
- Art of the Garden
- Master Food Preservers
We are busy lining up speakers for each of topic, check back often for updates!
Conference Highlights Include:
- Keynote speakers
- “Search for Excellence Awards”
- Pre and post conference tours
- Silent auction
- Vendor mall
- UC Master Gardener store
- Located at one of California’s foremost destinations
The committee is currently in the process of securing sponsorships designed to help reduce registration fees. In hopes of fee reductions, registration costs have not been finalized – and will be announced at a later date.
We hope you will plan on joining us in October at the 2014 UC Master Gardener Conference. Keep up to date with conference information on our website. We will continue to keep you updated with more details as they become available from the committee.
- Author: Tunyalee Martin
UC IPM's new Pest Alert helps you identify Bagrada bug, an invasive stink bug spreading through western Arizona and southern California causing severe crop, nursery and landscape losses. In agriculture, Bagrada bug is a pest of cole crops and other mustard family plants. In home gardens it feeds on these same vegetables and on ornamental plants such as sweet alyssum and candytuft.
Bagrada bugs use their needlelike mouthparts to pierce and feed on plants and thier seeds. Damage includes leaf spotting, wilting, stunting, multiple branches or crowns, and death of the whole plant.
The Pest Alert was produced by UCCE advisors Eric Natwick and Surendra Dara, John Palumbo from the University of Arizona, and the UC IPM team.
- Author: Cheryl Reynolds
Do you have snails and slugs chewing up your favorite garden plants? Are spiders hanging out in and around your home? How can you get rid of those pesky webs?
The UC Statewide IPM program has just released six short videos to help you find answers to these questions. Find the videos on the UC IPM YouTube channel or linked from the specific Pest Notes publications on Snails and Slugs or Spiders.
Snails and slugs chew holes in leaves and fruit of many different types of plants, but they aren’t always present when the damage is discovered. Caterpillars, earwigs, grasshoppers, weevils, and others cause similar damage. How can you identify the culprit? The short video clip “Did a snail eat my plant?” shows damage caused by various pests and can help you identify snail or slug damage by looking for their characteristic slime trails and excrement.
If you do have snails and slugs in the garden and want to control them without using pesticides, learn how to combine trapping with other nonchemical methods for best results in the clip “Trapping snails and slugs.” If you decide to use a pesticide, check out the video on ”How to apply snail and slug bait.” You’ll learn what types of baits are best, which ones to avoid, and how and when to apply them for best results.
Although many people fear them, most spiders you encounter during the day are harmless and can be beneficial in your garden and landscape by eating pest insects.. You can see different kinds of spiders in the short clip “Common garden spiders.” However beneficial they may be, you might not want them inside your home. Even though the easiest method of getting rid of a spider is to kill it, why not trap it and let it loose outdoors to eat those garden pests? “How to catch a spider” shows several ways to easily trap a spider and let it go, including two types of nifty spider catchers that catch spiders in hard-to-reach places. Now what about those sticky webs? “How to clean up spider webs” shows practical methods for removing webs from around your home such as vacuuming, sealing holes in cracks or screens, hosing them off, or using a Webster tool. These methods can also help to keep spiders out of your home.
For more information on snails, slugs, spiders, and other home and garden pests, visit the UC IPM web site.
- Author: Aubrey Bray
Program rosters now tell us that statewide we have 5,404 volunteers who dedicate themselves to extending UC research-based home horticulture information to the public. Programs range in size from fourteen to over three hundred Master Gardeners, but the thing they all have in common is their passion for horticulture and the desire to not only learn more, but share what they learn with other Californians. From July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013 UC MGs donated over 348,132 volunteer hours to their respective communities. If we want to think about this monetarily (and who doesn’t?!), the value of this time to UC ANR comes in at over $8.6 million!* Another way to think of it, is to compare these hours to current resources UCCE has at its disposal. As of this last year the University of California Cooperative Extension had 171 advisors listed in the directory that were categorized as specializing in “Plant Commodities or Products” –only forty of which specialized in “Ornamental Plants, Landscape, and Turf”. When we compare the staggering number of volunteer hours, we find that this figure equates to approximately 180 full time employees** for the University of California. In effect, with the Master Gardener program in place, we more than double our “staff” available to answer plant and pest-related queries from the public and provide that invaluable arm of extension by connecting California residents with UC research.
Volunteering for their communities is not the only way UC Master Gardeners spend their time, however. Last year over 76,480 hours were logged in continuing education as Master Gardeners worked to keep themselves informed about new or advanced horticultural topics and trends. In addition to presentations and workshops presented at the local program level, the Statewide Master Gardener Program hosted six 2-day regional trainings on Edible Landscaping and four regional workshops on Advanced Citrus and Avocado Care (including special focus on new citrus threat, Asian Citrus Psyllid). The Statewide UC IPM program also hosted opportunities for Master Gardeners to expand their knowledge of home and garden pests and treatment options via three regional Advanced IPM trainings.
The volunteers aren’t the only ones putting in the hours, though! The Statewide Master Gardener Program has also been hard at work this year working to support and provide developmental opportunities for the 45 Master Gardener programs around the state. One of the most exciting ways we were able to offer support in the last year and moving forward was a grant opportunity for programs to seek partial or full funding for a Program Representative (local MG coordinator) position starting July 1, 2013 and continuing through June of 2015. Many applications were submitted and in total the grant funded 19 county-based positions, including one brand new program that will take shape in the Lassen, Sierra, and Plumas counties. In order to aid programs in continued development, the Statewide Master Gardener Program also hosted 13 webinars and a two-day training for Program Coordinators, ranging in topics from best practices for Social Media to Volunteer Recognition. In November 2012 the Statewide Program also hosted the first ever Volunteer Leadership Summit, in which we invited each program to send a Master Gardener volunteer who was directly involved with the leadership of the local program to attend a day-long training on Middle Management topics and provide an opportunity for networking across counties.
It certainly has been a year of many triumphs for the UC Master Gardener Program. Thank you for the time and effort that you put into this program. We are continually astounded by the work that is accomplished by California Master Gardeners and feel extremely lucky to work with such talented and selfless individuals. We look forward to another incredibly successful year and can’t wait to chart the leaps and bounds we are sure to take statewide this year!
*Value of volunteer time found by using Independent Sector estimate of $24.75/hour in California. Find current rate at: http://www.independentsector.org/programs/research/volunteer_time.html
** assumes 1928 working hours per year.
- Author: Missy Gable
I look forward to getting to know each of you so please excuse the impersonal blog post, but I had promised a little information on who I am and what you can expect from me in the near future.
The most important thing you should know is that I am passionate about horticulture and couldn’t be happier to be working with the Master Gardeners. For me, sparking interest in outdoor environments is a way I can influence lives, communities and the environment. To be a part of an organization 5500 people strong and working together to inspire horticultural interest through education is truly thrilling.
My Bachelors is in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Plant Biology (2004, UC Davis) and my Masters is in Environmental Horticulture (2007, UC Davis). I’ve continued my learning with classes through the American Management Association and completed a two year leadership program with the CA Agricultural Leadership Foundation in 2011.
In the near future, I will work closely with Aubrey in her new role as Statewide Training Coordinator as we develop the Volunteer Management Institute (October 16-17, 2013) and endeavor to create online training courses. A new program representative will be hired this summer and he/she will take over responsibilities for the website and VMS.
I’m particularly looking forward to August - October when I’ll travel to each county and we can get to know each other better. In addition, I hope to collect information about programs, outreach activities, and hear any needs you have from the statewide office. I genuinely look forward to our future together as the UCCE Master Gardeners!
Happy 4th of July!