- Author: Mimi M Enright
On August 2, 2016, Mimi Enright, Program Manager for the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County, and Ellen Zaslansky, an MG volunteer, were pleased to receive the proclamation from City of Sebastopol.
The biennial “Bloomin' Back Yards” educational garden tour is returning to Sebastopol on September 18th and offers a tour five private gardens in the Sebastopol/West County area along with a plant, crafts, art & book sale.
The public will find expert advice and demonstrations on growing low-water use plants & vegetables, lawn replacement, drip-irrigation, gopher control, compost, soil improvement, beneficial insects and bees, and much, much more!
We hope to see you there!
- Author: Mimi M Enright
For the Sonoma County Fair's 2016 movie theme, the Master Gardeners were inspired by the spaghetti westerns of the past. Our interpretation of “THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY BEAUTIFUL” shows examples of sustainable practices for home gardeners.
The "BAD" home garden uses chemicals to kill insects and inorganic fertilizers on "unused high water-use" turf. Not all bugs are bad—we rely on pollinators for food crops. Sonoma county residents will need to become “water smart” to maintain our limited water supply for future generations. Invasive plants like ivy and Vinca major can escape our home gardens and grow wild along our streams and overwhelm native plants. Other invasive plants like feather grass, common fountain grass and pampas grass spread their seeds by the wind invading other gardens and competing with native grasses.
Drought tolerant gardens don't have to be “UGLY,” with so many low water plant options, our home gardens can be “BEAUTIFUL.” Our garden display shows many beautiful low water plant choices to add interest and color for a serene low maintenance garden. Instead of turf lawn, use a lawn alternative like Kurapia (Lippia nodiflora). Select plants for their mature size and best location in the garden. Other sustainable practices include adding a rain garden to slow, spread and sink water, watering low water plants with drip irrigation instead of spray irrigation, feeding the soil with compost, providing flowers, seeds and water for pollinators and birds, understanding how beneficial insects help our plants survive and using good horticultural practices to maintain our gardens.
The Master Gardeners will be at the Sonoma County Fair every day from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to answer your questions about sustainable gardening practices. We hope that you stop by to see THE GOOD, BAD AND BEAUTIFUL of sustainability in the garden. See you at the fair!
- Author: Mimi Enright
Topics included in the Handbook cover a wide range such as soil, fertilizer, water management, plant propagation, plant physiology, weeds & pests, home vegetable gardening and much, much more! New to the 2nd Edition is information on invasive plants and principles of designing and maintaining landscapes for fire protection.
There will be a book signing event at the Petaluma Seed Bank on Thursday April 30th starting at 7:00PM. In addition to it being available for purchase at the Petaluma Seed Bank, it can be ordered online in paperback, along with other excellent University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources reference books.
- Author: Mimi Enright
The SFE is designed to recognize outstanding group projects, not an individual who does outstanding work. The International Master Gardener recognition is a SEARCH FOR EXCELLENCE of the highest quality within Master Gardener programs across the United States and Canada. Only projects that improve people's lives are awarded.
SCMG has been focusing on the sustainable gardening practice of water conservation via the Garden Sense program, a partnership developed between SCMG and the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) in fall 2013. Most home landscapes in this region have been created without any regard to our summer-dry climate, and the public is not at all aware of the water needs of commonly used landscape plants.
A team of two of our volunteer consultants will visit a Sonoma County homeowner's garden to show how to conserve water by creating a climate-appropriate garden that is healthy, sustainable and environmentally sound. The program is offered countywide to municipal water users and well users.
In our first year of operation we estimate
water savings as a result of the program at 6 acre feet.
- Author: Lisa Bell
On Saturday morning, June 28, 35 people attended a sudden oak death (SOD) educational talk and local disease update at our UCCE office. More than half of the people who attended were unfamiliar with the disease, letting us know that we continue to find new people with our outreach. In this 2-hour session, Master Gardener specialists described disease history, biology, and treatment.
Attendees left informed about what can be done for diseased trees on their property, or if they have no disease, how to avoid infection. These talks are given by the Master Gardeners at different locations around the county, periodically throughout the year and on request.
Often the first question asked is “What kind of oak is this and is it susceptible to SOD?” See photos below for common oaks of Sonoma County (click on the picture for a larger version).
Visit Sudden Oak Death for more information.