March in Sonoma
Gardeners need to re-evaluate everything about their gardening, from plant selection, to irrigation methods to the amount of garden and landscape we actually maintain.
Sonoma County Master Gardeners have recently produced several documents that address gardening under drought conditions in detail.
Drought Management Guidelines is the master document and addresses all aspects of gardening with lower water
Food Gardening with Less Water discusses how to be water-wise and successful growing a food garden during a drought.
Drought Resistant Crops lists edible varieties that require less water than normal.
2014 Bloomin' Backyards Preview
By Steven Hightower, Sonoma County Master Gardener
GardenSense - On-site WaterWise Garden Consultations
Sonoma County Master Gardeners are deep into a new project called GardenSense. Created in collaboration with the Sonoma County Water Agency, the project is intended to help local gardeners further improve their water conservation. A free on-site consultation by a pair of GardenSense Consultants will demonstrate to residents how to easily conserve water (and save money) by creating a climate-appropriate garden that is healthy, environmentally sound, and most of all – beautiful!
Topics covered in consultations include irrigation assessment, suggestions for improving water efficiency, advice on lawn removal and replacement with low water use plants and more. SCMG President and GardenSense Project Leader Phyllis Turrill states: "This project is going to be a great help to Sonoma County gardeners looking to reduce their water bills, and beautify their landscape at the same time".
Sonoma County residents wishing to schedule a garden consultation can click here.
Ask a Master Gardener
Questions and Answers from the Helpline
Projects Around the County
Master Gardener-staffed Help Desks are located
at Sonoma County Farmers' Markets and Fairs
Master Gardeners are volunteers trained by the UC Davis Cooperative Extension. They provide gardening help and information for Sonoma County home gardeners, and give classes, seminars and workshops throughout the county.
UCCE Farm Advisor: Paul Vossen
SCMG Coordinator: Mimi Enright
|Garden Tools- Sonoma||3/15/2014|
Sundays with Sue
By SCMG Sue Lovelace
First, I wanted to pass on that I will be doing a presentation on transforming the lawn (by sheet mulching) to create a drought tolerant or edible garden, or both, as experienced in my own garden. It will occur this Saturday, March 8th at 10:30am at the Healdsburg Library.
If we thought plants prefer lots of water, that was confirmed the last few days! All plants in our raised bed seems to have doubled in size! As you know, I have been planting cool weather crops with the idea that the rain will keep coming. However, I know I will have to scramble and find water from our very tight water budget if the rain stops, to keep us eating from the garden. Therefore, I continue to catch rain in buckets and plant veggies with a short maturation time (lettuce, spinach, bunching onions and kale) as they can be eaten young.
I am very passionate about growing our food, as you might have guessed. The freshness, the taste and the fact that little transportation was used to bring them to our table keeps me running out the door with little buckets.
I have been reading a good book called Great Garden Companions by Sally Jean Cunningham. It talks about planting edibles with "friends" (other edibles, herbs and flowers) that will draw pollinators and good insects while distracting and confusing harmful pests. It's all about creating diversity in the garden to best benefit our plants.
Master Gardeners in Print
Master Gardeners in the News
Several other master gardeners write about gardening, and are often sought by newspapers and publications for opinions about gardening topics.
Farm Advisor Paul Vosson and Master Gardener Sandy Metzger comment on gardening in the drought in the Press Democrat
Master Gardener Heidi Stewart on worm composting in the Press Demo.
Master Gardener Ann Chambers' work is highlighted in this PD article on orchids.
Master Gardeners Susan Foley and Sandy Main are featured in this PD article on succulents.
The Sonoma Community Center WaterWise Demo Garden, the Healdsburg Firesafe Garden and the Jail Industries Superstars plant propagation facility are all talked up in this Press Democrat article by Meg McConahey.
SCMG Website Editor Sara Malone's garden was featured in Fine Gardening Magazine.
Master Gardener Sara Malone's Petaluma winter-colorful "form and foliage" garden is featured in an article in the Press Democrat by Rosemary McCreary.
Farm Advisor Paul Vossen prepared a presentation on Controlling Gophers and Moles.
SCMG Editorial Board
Sara Malone - Editor in Chief
Website Editorial Staff
Editor and Webmaster: Steven Hightower
Kitchen Garden Editor: Stephanie Wrightson
Laura Salo Long