- (Public Value) UCANR: Protecting California's natural resources
In April 2021, scientists released weevils from the Mediterranean region of Europe at the Bureau of Land Management Magnolia Ranch day-use area in El Dorado County to join the battle against yellow starthistle. Yellow starthistle rosette weevil is a newly approved natural enemy of yellow starthistle, which was introduced in California more than 150 years ago and, with no natural enemies in its new location, became one of the state's most harmful weeds, infesting nearly 15 million acres.
In California, yellow starthistle can grow to shoulder height, forming massive, thorny patches that block hiking trails, crowd out native plants and present a wildfire danger. The plant is...
Soil acidity is an important factor for gardeners to consider when placing ornamental and edible plants in landscapes and vegetable gardens. It is possible to add amendments to the soil to adjust pH, but according to Dustin Blakey, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Inyo and Mono counties, it's not always the best course of action.
“It is generally best to work with the soil you have, rather than try to attain the soil you wish for,” Blakey said.
Blakey wrote a six-page publication, “Adjusting Soil pH in California Gardens,” which is available for free download from the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources catalog.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
While spring may not be the best time to plant shade trees, many people are inspired to plant trees as part of Earth Day and Arbor Day celebrations. Millions of trees are planted every year in America and many of them perish after planting, according to James Downer, University of California Cooperative Extension horticulture and plant pathology advisor.
“Tree planting campaigns, while well intentioned, may not consider all the realities of bringing young trees into landscapes and caring for them over decades,” Downer said. “Increasingly, city budgets for tree care are being cut back and planting budgets are non-existent in many cities. Tree planting...
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Learning from the University of California Cooperative Extension how to correctly install and maintain a water volume measurement system on his ranch has saved Modoc County rancher Glenn Nader a significant amount of money.
Nader, a retired UC Cooperative Extension advisor himself, and his wife have owned and operated a 2,880-acre ranch in Modoc County since 1999.
“We divert irrigation water out of the creeks on the ranch for irrigation of the cattle pastures and hay fields,” Nader said. “The State of California required that we hire a certified engineer to set up and maintain water measurement devices at three locations on the ranch....
The Marin Municipal Water District has saved nearly 30 million gallons of water since it initiated a partnership with UC Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener program in Marin to teach residents how to conserve water.
The program, Garden Walks, was established in 2008 to help Marin conserve water in a district with limited supply. MMWD purchases about 75% of its water from reservoirs on Mt. Tamalpais and in west Marin, and the rest from Sonoma County's Russian River water system.
Garden Walks provides personalized information and advice to water district customers focused on improving their irrigation practices to conserve water. The part-time coordinator sets up about 150 appointments a year for UC Master Gardener...