For Immediate Release
Pleasant Hill, CA (February 18, 2017): Here's an update on this spring's (sixth!) annual county-wide Great Tomato Plant Sale, starting April 1. We've been busy seeding 83 tomato varieties, many of which will only be available in Contra Costa at our sale. How many seeds exactly are we planting this year? 14,025 tomato seeds and yes, we count every one of them. Oy...that’s inventory control! We’re planting more than we have ever planted before, but then, we did sell out last year. Curious? We're featuring some of the best of the best on our Hot Master Gardeners Picks page. Check it out!
While you're waiting for the spring season, if you need help, don't forget that UC Master Gardener services are available nearly all year long! For problem diagnosis and answers to your gardening questions, just contact our Help Desk. The Help Desk is open 50 weeks of the year, Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 am to Noon. You can walk in, call, or email us for help. Our mission is to extend our knowledge to YOU.
Check out our fruit & nut selection guide that you can use to help plan a new or upgraded home orchard. Also check out our blog, HOrT COCO, with lots of the most typical Help Desk questions and answers. Like what you see? Subscribe here.
Would you or your organization like to start a community garden? We now offer consulting services for such efforts. Please visit our new Community Gardens page for details.
Advice to Grow By...Ask Us!
Keep conserving water...no matter what. While we're thrilled with all the winter rain these past few months, and even though sometimes it's been overwhelming, remember that water conservation continues to be vital to California's long-term health and resilience. An August 2016 law, SB-814, was adopted that requires urban water districts to define excessive water use and impose restrictions/penalties during the inevitable drought emergencies. Meanwhile, the State Water Resources Control Board's emergency conservation regulation requiring locally developed conservation standards remains in effect until February 28, 2017. Read more...
For water conservation tips, check out our Drought Tips page, as well as a HOrT COCO Blog entry on Smart Controllers. Want a quick and easy fix? Many of us have areas of lawn that serve no particular purpose. Try sheet mulching unused turf to save water and improve your soil at the same time.
Speaking of soil...did you know... 2015 was the International Year of Soils! Visit http://www.fao.org/soils-2015/en/ for more information. Most Contra Costa soils contain plenty of the nutrients plants need. Keeping your soil healthy will let you cut back drastically on landscape fertilizing. Less fertilizing means less watering (and more money in your pocket)!
After 30 years, we've changed the official name of our organization to UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County, emphasizing our relationship to the University of California. But, only the name is changing...our contact information and all our services remain just the same.
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Spotlight on Our Garden
The Story of Our Garden.
Our Garden is a focal point for UC Master Gardener educational activities, an ongoing collaborative edible garden managed by dedicated volunteers and supported by generous sponsors. Short demonstrations and classes taught every Wednesday from April through October offer the public a free and open venue for up close and personal learning about the process of growing one's own food. Special events supplement this outreach. Food produced by Our Garden is donated to local charitable organizations.
Where We Are Right Now
6th Annual Great Tomato Plant Sale-3 locations starting 4/1/2017
Date: April 1, 2017