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UCCE Master Gardeners of Tuolumne County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Tuolumne County

UCCE Master Gardeners of Tuolumne County

Master Gardener Training Interest

Want to learn more about the Master Gardener Training for 2018?

See the Master Gardeners of Tuolumne County Training webpage for more information.

University of California Cooperative Extension Central Sierra

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Gardening Tips for October

  • Clean out flower and vegetable gardens to discourage diseases and pests from overwintering in your beds.
  • Rake leaves from ditches to make way for the rain that's coming.
  • Re-program drip system timers for cooler weather and rain.
  • Update your garden journal, noting what worked and what didn't work.  Look around at the fall color you might want to plant for next year
  • Mulch or mow leaves on your lawn and add to your compost pile - either an existing one or a new one.
  • Apply a thick layer of compost to enrich your soil for spring planting.
  • Apply mulch to bulbs and tubers left in the ground.
  • Deadhead spent flowers.
  • Lift tuberous begonias.
  • Lift and divide dahlias, dust with sulfur before storing.
  • Divide lilies.
  • Cut back and divide spent perennial phlox asters.
  • Cover compost bins with plastic tarps once the rains begin.
  • Clean out bird houses and bird feeders.
  • Cut old berry canes and tie the new canes to support wires. It's easy to identify the old canes now - they're turning brown.
  • Finish pruning any fruit trees after the last fruit is removed.
  • Check dates of Master Gardener classes.

Get more of this month's tips...

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Have a Gardening Question?

Contact the Master Gardener Hotline: 209-533-5912 or fill out the "Ask a Master Gardener" online form.

More Information:

Become a fan of UCCE Master Gardeners of Tuolumne County Facebook page by clicking here.

Have a turf lawn in the summer-dry foothills?  Go to to learn how to test your sprinkler output.

Calendar of Events

Event Name


Why This UC Davis Course Is Sweet
Posted 10/17/2017 - "The bee hive is the ultimate home sweet home," Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center,  told the crowd at the Western Apicultural Society's 40th annual conference, held in early September at UC Davis. She's right. Just as birds maintain a "home tweet home,"  honey bees and honey connoisseurs insist on a "home sweet home." But how much do we know about honey? We know that European colonists brought the honey bee to Jamestown in 1622 and we know that a...

The Amazing Bee-Parasite Research of Leslie Saul-Gershenz
Posted 10/16/2017 - Evolutionary ecologist Leslie Saul-Gershenz goes places where many have been but few have ever really seen.  Bees and blister beetles, yes. We remember writing about her work in April of 2013 when she addressed the Nor Cal Entomology Society (now folded) about her research on how blister beetle nest parasites cooperate to mimic the sex pheromone of a digger bee. She had just returned from the Mojave National Preserve, tracking the solitary bee Habropoda pallida and its nest parasite, a...

Why Friday the 13th Is Not an Unlucky Day
Posted 10/13/2017 - Friday the 13th is not an unlucky day--not when migratory monarchs make a pit stop at your home on their way to their overwintering sites. Today a male monarch fluttered into our pollinator garden in Vacaville, Calif., and sipped nectar from a tropical milkweed. We offered him a choice: Mexican sunflower, lavender, verbena, butterfly bush, sedum, lantana or the tropical milkweed. "Make mine milk (weed)," he seemed to say as he lingered on the plants. We're hoping his buddies will stop by,...

Thank a Farmer, Thank a Beekeeper
Posted 10/12/2017 - You may have missed it, but today (Thursday, Oct. 12) is National Farmers' Day. The day originated back in the 1800s as a way to recognize and thank farmers for all the work they do to feed our nation--and the world. It's also time to thank a beekeeper. When beekeeper Kim Flottum of northeast Ohio, the 30-year editor of Bee Culture, addressed the recent Western Apicultural Society's 40th annual conference at UC Davis, he predicted that the nation's 250,000 beekeepers (who manage around 4...

California Wild Fires Raging...but Life Cycles Go On...
Posted 10/11/2017 - As those horrendous wild fires continue to rage throughout California, as Cal Fire helicopters roar over, as residents scramble from their homes,  as smoke thickens the air, and as ashes flutter down like feathers, it's difficult to think about insects for a Bug Squad blog. Our hearts are with the victims and what we can do to help. But we briefly stepped out in the backyard yesterday (Oct. 10) in Vacaville to see a sun and sky we did not recognize.  Nearby, the brightly colored...

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