- Author: Bernadette Thomas
Like many of us, my concern of California's water resources continues to grow. I decided to start a new project that would help others with tips and resources to replace their lawn. Enter my challenge to see if I can replace a lawn for $1500.00 or less.
Why 1500.00? Well, that is the new grant amount offered by Solano County for those that qualify for replacing their lawns even if it is currently dead with drought-resistant front yards. Nothing bothers me more than an ugly dead lawn and I am on a mission to help!
Please note that this challenge will not include irrigation as I will be self-watering my plants.
To prepare for the challenge, first, review the qualifications for the rebate. If you do qualify, note that the garden must be completed within 4 months so we are going to start with pre-planning what your dream front yard will be.
The first Practical step will be to measure the lawn area to be replaced. Must be a minimum of 300 feet.
Design yard by using some free resources here; https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/online-landscape-and-garden-design-tools/
I will begin the garden preparation with cardboard mulching. (Note- this must be done after approval of the grant) With this mulching process, I will be using wood chips for most of the garden, a flagstone pathway with a bench, and some berms. Down the road, I will add some Mexican dark gray rock which will be part of the final plan but for now- mulch it is. Let's look at phase one and the cost so fat
For now, let's look at the cost so far.
Check-in on my next post for phase 2 to discuss tree removal and plant selections at a discount.
- Author: Kathy Low
In a couple of weeks, the application period for the 2023 class of Master Gardeners will open. Below are ten reasons you should consider applying to undergo the training to become a Master Gardener.
1. You'll receive a well-rounded education in home gardening.
Over the course of approximately sixteen weeks, you'll learn about various aspects of home gardening. You'll learn about basic horticulture, water management, weeds, pests, trees, fruit trees, growing vegetables, composting and so much more from experts in their field.
2. You'll Have Access to Continuing Education Opportunities
Your gardening education doesn't end once you become a Master Gardener. Instead, you'll enjoy a lifetime of learning. On an ongoing basis, you'll be sent information on a variety of upcoming continuing education opportunities you can select to attend virtually or in person. And if you ever feel like you need a refresher on the basic information you learned, you are always welcome to audit any course in the basic training program as often as desired.
3. You'll Become Familiar with Reliable Resources to Answer Your Gardening Questions.
As a Master Gardener, you'll learn the best “go-to” resources to answer gardening questions. These are resources you'll find yourself constantly using in the future as various gardening questions arise. And if you have to go to other sources to find information, you'll learn how to determine if the information is reliable.
4. You'll Have Access to Experts as Needed
As needed, you'll have access to UC Farm Advisors and other UC-affiliated experts to help you with your difficult gardening situations or questions.
5. You'll Have the Opportunity to Make New Friends with People Who Share a Common Interest.
If you took an informal survey of Master Gardeners about what they enjoy about the program, the friendships made, and the friendships among Master Gardeners would be near the top of the list. There's a camaraderie among Master Gardeners. Gardeners are by nature nurturing and supportive people. As a Master Gardener, you'll meet and make many new friends with fellow Master Gardeners who share a love of gardening.
6. You'll Enjoy Organized Outings/ Field Trips with Fellow Master Gardeners.
Throughout the year you'll have the opportunity to sign up to go on organized outings with fellow Master Gardeners. An example of past locations of field trips included the Berryhill Botanic Garden, the Filoli Gardens, and the Wolfskill Experimental Orchards.
7. Unlike Other Volunteer Programs, You are in Charge of Your Volunteer Activities.
You decide when, where and what activities you want to participate in. Once you become a Master Gardener, you'll have access to a volunteer activities calendar. You select the activities, dates, and locations of the activities you wish to volunteer for. The calendar also contains information on whether the activity is for adults or children, so you also get to select the target audience you wish to volunteer to help.
8. You'll Help Nurture and Grow Future Gardeners.
Through your Master Gardener volunteer activities, be it staffing an information table, giving a talk, or writing for the newsletter or blog, you are helping to nurture and grow a future generation of gardeners. What a wonderful legacy to leave behind.
9. You Have the Opportunity to Give Back to Your Community.
As a Master Gardener volunteer sharing your knowledge and time, you are giving back to your community while having fun doing it.
10. You'll Receive a 40% Discount on UC ANR Publications.
And last but not least, as a Master Gardener, you'll receive a 40% on the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources publications. UC ANR publications include the popular books The Home Orchard: Growing Your Own Deciduous Fruit and Nut Trees, and Pests of the Garden and Small Farm. Who doesn't like saving money?
So take the plunge today and apply to become a UCCE Master Gardener. For more information, contact Jennifer Baumbach, Program Coordinator, UCCE Master Gardener Program Solano and Yolo Counties, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (707) 389-0645 (texts okay).
- Author: Karen Metz
This spring I was reading an article about drought-tolerant gardens and the authors were singing the praises of the Chaste Tree, Vitex agnus-castus. They were extolling its virtues, particularly its flowers, which can range from white to light blue to lavender. It got me thinking about my little Chaste Tree. When was the last time I had seen it bloom? I did remember it had bloomed for several years after I first planted it, but I couldn't remember anything recent.
I bought it in 2004 as a 4-inch pot. By 2005 it was 33 inches tall and in a much bigger pot. It had done well and was on a drip system. I had even written an article about it, back when the Master Gardeners had a column in the Daily Republic newspaper. Over the years it hadn't had any disease or pest issues and was never a problem. I guess that's why I kind of stopped noticing it; it was on autopilot.
So, I had failed to see when it stopped blooming. And when it crossed over from thriving to enduring, I missed it. I guess I was too busy dealing with other, newer, plant attractions.
I realized that my plant had been in the same pot since 2005. Luckily, the room had just opened up in a wine barrel I had. I cut back the ensnarled roots on my Chaste Tree and planted it in a new planting mix in the wine barrel.
By July I had delightful, white, spire-shaped flowers. And the plant itself had started to send out new branches and leaves. It was clearly thriving. I've continued to enjoy it through the summer, even through the heat. It has added at least 1-2 feet in height and about the same in width. I wish I had thought to take a picture when I transplanted it, but I can even see a difference in size from the July to the September photo.
Even when it drops its leaves in the fall, I will be able to enjoy the branch structure of the new growth. I know it has survived freezes before so I am not too worried about the winter. I will try to keep an eye on it though. I feel like I need to make up for letting it go on autopilot for so long.
Do you have any plants/shrubs/trees that you have let go on autopilot? It might be time to look at them with fresh eyes. How are they doing? Is there something you could do to make them happier? Is there a better spot for them? If they are doing well, should you propagate more of them for other spots in the yard or to give to friends?
- Author: Patricia Matteson
*Sing to the tune of the song “Paper Roses,” first sung by Anita Bryant.
Heat has always burned our garden roses.
Summer blooms may last only one day.
From yellow buds through pink and then just crispy,
Those scented blossoms quickly fade away.
Papery roses, papery roses
Are all that heatwaves leave to me.
After baking, after toasting--
Fresh blooms a distant memory.
Now climate change is messing with our roses.
More blasted flowers giving me the blues.
Unless the world can change its nasty habits,
We won't have real roses we can use.
Paper roses, plastic roses--
Oh how real those roses seem to be
But they're only imitations,
All fake and sadly fragrance-free.
- Author: Patricia Brantley
Just for fun!
Squash word search Answer Key https://files.constantcontact.com/d79ab677001/9369dba0-6193-4226-9b92-e88c5fcde06a.png