UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance
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UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance

From the UC Blogosphere...

That Amazing Migrating Monarch Project

This migratory monarch, released Aug. 28 from Ashland, Ore. and tagged with monarch@wsu.edu  A6093, nectared on Mexican sunflower in Vacaville, Calif. on Sept. 5. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

He may have been “born" in an Ashland, Ore., vineyard. But at least we know he hails from Ashland. That's what we...

Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 7:50 PM

Bee Workshop




Attract Bees to Your Garden 

By Jackie Woods   UCCE Master Gardener


The honey bee population has been in decline world-wide for several years, a result of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).   While scientists search for answers, gardeners and bee enthusiasts can help our pollinator friends by providing them a safe haven in the form of a bee friendly garden.  Planting bee friendly plants, providing a water source and avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides are just a few small ways to make a big difference in saving the lives of bees.

Bees are incredible, magnificent creatures.  Do you like to eat?  Thank a bee!  Bees are responsible for pollinating much of the food we eat but they need our help.  What do bees need?  Flowers! Here are a few of their favorites:

Annuals – clover, marigolds, poppies, snapdragons, sunflowers, zinnias

Perennials – cosmos, dahlias, Echinacea, geranium, mint, roses

Shrubs – blueberry, butterfly bush, honeysuckle, lavender, rosemary, thyme

Trees – alder, eastern redbud, fruit trees, magnolia, maples, poplars

Many insects get water from their food.  Bees, however, need to drink water; they like it clean and fresh.  If they can't find it close to their hive, they'll seek it out elsewhere. It's easy to create a water source for bees:  place small stones in shallow bird baths or containers for the bees to perch on while they drink.  If you build it, they will come!

Herbicides and pesticides can be toxic to bees and other beneficial insects.  Insecticides can kill bees by either direct or indirect contact.  If possible, avoid using harmful substances in a bee friendly garden and instead encourage natural insect control by incorporating plants that attract birds, butterflies and other beneficial insects like ladybugs and syrphid flies.  

Without bees and other insects, pollination of crops does not occur. No crops, no food.  So, let's all pitch in and help our pollinator friends by planting bee friendly flowers, provide a modest water source, and forgo using pesticides in the garden. 

Interested in building a bee house for your garden? A workshop will be held Tuesday, October 4, 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in the Garden of the Seven Sisters, 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. The first half of the workshop will be a presentation about native and Mason Bees. The second half will be building your own insect or bee house.  Insect house kits are available for $10.00 or bee house inserts for $2.00 (if you would like place an insert in your own item at home).







Posted on Monday, September 26, 2016 at 9:26 PM

It's All the Buzz: WAS to Meet in Davis in 2017

This sign, fronting the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis, is the work of self-described

It's all the buzz. It's just been announced that the Western Apicultural Society (WAS), founded 40 years ago at UC Davis,...

Posted on Monday, September 26, 2016 at 4:01 PM

A Scab Among Toyons?

Advice from the Help Desk of the
UC Master Gardeners Program of Contra Costa

Scab present on local Toyon
Scab spots showing on leaves
Client's Request to UCMGCC Help Desk:  I attended your wonderful plant sale and workshop recently. I am a school garden aide and one of our native plants, Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), has a leaf curl type of disease. I brought a sample of the diseased plant in a plastic bag today and left it at the Help Desk office. I will send a picture later today when I get home.

UCMGCC Help Desk Response:  Thank you for sending in the photo of your Toyon. It was very helpful.

Based on the picture, it looks like your Toyon has a mild form of scab. Scab is caused by various types of fungus. Scab appears first as pale or yellow dots on leaves. Affected leaves can twist or pucker. At more advanced stages, which you do not seem to have, you would see dark, olive-colored spots on the leaves. You could also find soft, velvety spots on the undersides of the leaves.
Closeup of Toyon Scab spots

Scab is spread through the air, and more importantly by splashing water. Hot dry weather usually slows the development of scab. The disease is most active during spring rains.

To limit the spread of the disease, remove and dispose in your garbage waste bin of any fallen leaves from the plant. Avoid any overhead watering. You may also want to prune the plant to open up the canopy to allow more air on the leaves.  

For more information on scab, see http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/PLANTS/DISEASES/scab.html
For information on pruning, see http://extension.oregonstate.edu/linn/sites/default/files/pruning_pub_handout2012.pdf 
Note that there are two basic types of pruning cuts:  thinning (which remove entire branches) and heading (which shorten branches). You want to focus on thinning cuts which reduce plant density. See page 2 of the document for the complete descriptions of the differences.

Please let us know if you have further questions.

Good luck with your Toyon.   

Help Desk of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa (ECS)

Note: The  UC Master Gardeners Program of Contra Costa's Help Desk is available year-round to answer your gardening questions.  Except for a few holidays, we're open every week, Monday through Thursday for walk-ins from 9:00 am to Noon at 75 Santa Barbara Road, 2d Floor, Pleasant Hill, CA  94523. We can also be reached via telephone:  (925) 646-6586, email: ccmg@ucanr.edu, or on the web at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/Ask_Us/ MGCC Blogs can be found at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/HortCoCo/ You can also subscribe to the Blog  (http://ucanr.edu/blogs/CCMGBlog/). 

Posted on Monday, September 26, 2016 at 12:09 AM

Meet Your Entomologists Who Study Everything from Soapberry Bugs to Monarchs

The focus is on soapberry bugs in this collage by evolutionary ecologist Scott Carroll. Doctoral candidate Meredith Cenzer will speak on her research on Oct. 5.

A good place to meet entomologists and learn about what they're researching is at seminars. The UC Davis Department of...

Posted on Friday, September 23, 2016 at 4:56 PM

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