UCCE Master Gardeners of Calaveras County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Calaveras County

UCCE Master Gardeners of Calaveras County

University of California Cooperative Extension Central Sierra

 Area Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences Advisor
Serving Calaveras, Tuolumne, Amador and El Dorado counties

4-H Program Representative I
Serving Calaveras and Tuolumne counties


Gardening tips For August 2017

Harvest summer crops regularly to promote more production. 

Pinch off Basil flowers as they form to prevent the plant from becoming woody.  

Pick green beans every three to five days while the pods are still tender; if the pods dry on the vine the plant will stop bearing. 

Stone fruit such as apricots, nectarines and peaches are ready to pick when they pull off with a gentle twist; make sure to pick up and discard fallen fruit.

Pull up spent summer vegetables and compost them; if they are diseased, put them in green waste or on your next burn pile.

Occasionally deep water any ornamental and fruit trees during long periods of hot dry weather.

As Master Gardeners we get many questions regarding our native Oak trees; unfortunately many are regarding trees that seem to be dying or are not healthy.

There are many species in our area of the Sierra foothills. The most common are Blue Oaks, Black Oaks, Interior live Oaks, Canyon Oaks and Valley Oaks. These trees are a very important part of the foothill environment and should be treated with great respect.

An important consideration when building or landscaping in an area with native Oaks is to protect the root system and drip line from any construction around them. Avoid changing the grade around the tree.  Most feeder roots of Oaks are very near the surface and can be easily damaged. It is important not to disturb the area within the “drip line” of the tree, meaning anything within the leaf canopy. Oak roots need adequate oxygen and a light cover of decomposing leaves in the drip line area.

Eliminate plantings within 3 to 4 feet of the trunk of the tree.

Most importantly, no summer watering since Oaks survive best with winter rains only.

Gardening tips For September 2017

Continue harvesting summer vegetables until they stop producing, then pull them out; if they are disease free, put them in the compost pile.

Winter squash is ready to harvest when the stem shrivels a little and the rind resists indentation when pressed with a fingernail.

As days are getting shorter and the weather will be cooling, it is time to cut back on the frequency and length of watering.

Fertilize the soil in your vegetable garden a couple of weeks before planting cool season crops.

If you are looking for trees with fall colors, select them now while you can see the leaves turn.

Most of the fruit and vegetables we grow are healthy for us to eat and do not make us ill; that may not be the case with our pets, especially dogs. There are many plants that are toxic to dogs; also many fruits and vegetables can cause serious health issues or be deadly to them.

If your dog likes to be with you while you garden, become familiar with the fruit and vegetables that can cause harm.  Plums, peaches, apricots, cherries and apples all have seeds that contain cyanide; although the pulp of the fruit is not toxic be aware that if your dog likes to harvest his own, he will probably eat the whole fruit, seeds and all.  All nuts are unhealthy for dogs because they contain large amounts of fats that dogs cannot process.  Any plant in the onion family can be deadly to dogs, especially if they eat a large quantity.  Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure, raw potatoes can cause seizures and vomiting, and rhubarb depletes calcium which can cause renal failure.

Keep an eye on your pets in your garden and make sure they do not eat the wrong fruit or vegetable.

by Teresa Spence, University Of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Of Calaveras County

find-us-on-facebook-badge-400x400 (2)

Got a Gardening Question?

Calaveras County Master Gardeners are here to answer your gardening questions!

  • Office hours: 10-Noon, Wednesdays
  • 891 Mountain Ranch Road in San Andreas
  • Phone: 209-754-2880
  • On-line: Ask a Master Gardener

Bring a sample for identification, or drop by to ask questions. If you bring a sample, please put plant material in a plastic bag. For insect identification, don't bring them alive! Please preserve insects in a container with rubbing alcohol, or by freezing.


Each month we produce a newsletter with monthly to-do list, upcoming events and articles to help you garden in Calaveras County.

Read our June 2017 newsletter.

To subscribe, email calmastergardener@gmail.com.

Read archived newsletters 

Master Gardeners in the Press

Master Gardeners regularly contribute articles to local newspapers.  See their latest gardening news and advice!

Webmaster Email: dlpowell@ucdavis.edu