Butte County Master Gardeners
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Butte County Master Gardeners

Butte County Master Gardeners

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Bidwell Casaba by Baker Creek Seeds
Bidwell Casaba by Baker Creek Seeds
Choosing Seeds: Hybrid and Heirloom

Billie Parish, Butte County Master Gardener, March 13, 2015

Spring is around the corner, which means it is time to plant. Starting from seed can be a gratifying and economical way to grow many edibles and ornamentals, but choosing seeds can be confusing. Do you want a black tomato or a striped tomato? Organic? Heirloom? Hybrid? What is the difference?

The definition of ‘heirloom' is not always agreed upon—some say an heirloom variety must be at least fifty years old, some say it should be older.  But generally speaking, an heirloom seed comes from a plant variety that passed on through several generations within a family or community. Read more about Choosing Seeds: Hybrid and Heirloom


What's going on in March


Propagating Plants (Reservations Required)
March 10, 10-11:30am

Tomatoes:  From Seed to Pot (Reservations Required)
March 14, 10-11:30am

Composting and Vericomposting (worms)
March 14, 10:00am

Chico Farmers' Market
March 21, 7:30am to 12:30pm
Downtown Chico Municipal Parking Lot 2nd St. & Wall St.

Raised Bed Gardening (Reservations Required)
March 18, 10-11:30am

Getting Started with Back Yard Chickens (Reservations Required)
March 21, 10-11:00am

Drip Irrigation (Reservations Required)
March 28, 10-11:30am

March 28, 10:00am

Gardening Tips for March

  • Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries with slow-release fertilizer when spring growth begins.
  • Cultivate and pull weeds.
  • Fertilize citrus and deciduous fruit trees.
  • Check roses for aphids; control with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.
  • Spray apricots with a fungicide as flowers open to prevent brown rot.
  • Cut back, divide, and fertilize herbs.
  • Prepare beds for planting by spading in compost.
  • Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs and trees after bloom.
  • Fertilize cool-season lawn grasses (bent, blue, rye, and fescue).
  • Fertilize camellias at the end of bloom. Try using composted, or well-aged manure.
  • Check irrigation system and perform maintenance.

Vegetable Planting Guides:
Chico Valley Area (pdf), Foothills (pdf)




Gardening Questions?


Visit or Call the Hotline
Wednesday 9-12pm
Thursday 1-4pm

Call 530-538-7201

Or, drop by the Butte County Cooperative Extension Office
2279-B Del Oro Avenue 
Oroville, CA 95965

Catch us in person at local Farmers’ Markets or at one of our informational booths. Check out where we'll be on the Events page.

What’s Hot at the Hotline?
When should I spray for peach leaf curl? Answer.


Help us Grow


Master Gardeners is a self-funded volunteer organization. If you'd like to help fund our educational programs, please fill out and mail in our Master Gardeners Donation Form. We also accept donations of goods and services.

Webmaster Email: support@chicodesigns.com