Sonoma County Fair ~ August 1 - 11, 2019
Come join us daily from 11am to 5pm at our new location on the east side of the Courtyard to answer your gardening questions!
For the first time, we will have information tables on topics ranging from succulents, food gardening, firewise landscaping, worms, bug hotels and more on August 3 & 4th and August 10th & 11th.
Stop by our demo garden or information tables and say hi!
Schedule of Talks/Demonstrations
11am – 1pm – Saving Water in the Garden Master Gardener GardenSense specialists will be in the Courtyard to talk about how to reduce your water use in the garden. You can sign up to have a team of consultants come to your home to discuss landscape options.
1pm – 3pm – All You Need to Know About Soil Come talk with Master Gardeners and learn what makes good soil for plants and how to improve bad soil. Learn the difference between compost and mulch and how to use them.
3pm – 5pm – Caterpillars Make Butterflies Master Gardener experts will talk about the magic of caterpillars and butterflies. Butterflies are losing habitat at an alarming rate. Learn what plants you should have in your garden to create better habitat for butterflies.
1pm – 3 pm – Landscaping for Fire Master Gardeners will Be in the Courtyard to provide information and answer questions on how best to prepare your landscape for potential wildfires. Learn the most important things you need to do to give yourself and your home a better chance.
3pm – 5pm - TBD
11am – 1pm – Good Bug Hotels Master Gardeners will be in the Courtyard to explain how to attract bees and other beneficial insects (the ones that get rid of the bad bugs!) to your garden and provide them habitat and winter quarters so they stay to help in your garden.
1pm – 3pm – Easy-to-grow Succulents Master Gardeners will be in the Courtyard to demonstrate how easy it is to grow succulents. There will be a grow-your-own demo for kids, too.
3pm – 5pm – Worms, Worms, Worms Master Gardeners will be in the Courtyard to talk about the wonders of worm composting and regular composting. Come see how easy composting can be and how good it can be for your garden. Kids of all ages are welcome! Worms will be on hand.
11am – 1pm – Food Gardening Specialists Master Gardeners will be in the Courtyard to discuss edible landscaping and answer all your questions about growing your own food.
1pm – 3pm - TBD
3pm – 5pm - TBD
- 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: Karen Giovannini
Check the Livestock schedule and stop by to see the kids show while you are at the fair (look for Junior, Jr or
The Junior Livestock Auction Schedule:
- Lambs – 7/25, 9am
- Goats – 7/25, 1pm
- Rabbits – 7/25, 1:30pm
- Hogs – 7/31, 9am
- Poultry – 7/31, 1pm
- Beef – 8/1, 6pm
- Author: Mimi Enright
The garden is located in the outdoor patio at Hall of Flowers. Master Gardener docents will be available on-site from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sonoma County Fair runs July 24 through August 9, closed Mondays.
Here are pictures of this year's demo garden.