- Author: UC Master Gardeners of Butte County
Twice a year, the UC Master Gardeners of Butte County offer a series of workshops designed for the home gardener. The line-up for Spring 2020 includes a number of new topics, in addition to those back by popular demand. The series began February 12th with a workshop on starting vegetable seeds. The rest of the workshops are outlined below. Unless otherwise noted, workshops take place at the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden at Patrick Ranch (10381 Midway, between Chico and Durham). While the workshops are free, registration is required in advance; see details on registration at the end of this article.
What Your Weeds Are Telling You & Weed Identification (Saturday, Feb. 22). This new workshop explores the clues that weeds offer about soil problems. Using the gardens at Patrick Ranch as a lab, a team of Master Gardeners will demonstrate how to identify common weeds and what their presence might reveal about the health of the soil. Using mulch to prevent and control weeds will also be discussed.
Companion Planting (Saturday, Feb. 29). Companion Planting is the art of arranging certain plants in proximity to one another so that they attract beneficial insects and pollinators, deter unwanted pests, and offer shelter and food for other critters. Companion plants provide one another with things they need, such as nutrients, shade, and physical support. This new workshop will focus on accomplishing this in the home vegetable garden, highlighting the potential symbiotic relationships between vegetable, herb, and flower combinations. There will be time for you to analyze your own garden and consider plant combinations that can work there.
Vertebrate Pests in the Garden (Saturday, March 14). We all know that it is very difficult to garden when deer, gophers, and moles are attracted to our yards. In this workshop we will examine the habits of deer; discuss appropriate fencing; learn about deer repellent sprays; and discuss deer-resistant planting. We will share our knowledge about dealing with the gophers and moles that plague our yards, and a Master Gardener will be available to show you exactly how to set gopher traps.
Propagation (Friday, March 20) is another popular workshop we are offering again. Learn the best time to propagate woody perennials and divide plants; how to select and make cuttings; the proper techniques for dividing plants; the best planting mediums to use; and how to plant cuttings and divided plants. You will take home several plant starts from cuttings in our Demonstration Garden. Bring your own garden pruners; all other materials will be provided.
Irrigation and Maintenance (Wednesday, March 25). Who doesn't need a refresher course on this topic? Drip irrigation is arguably the most efficient method of providing water to trees, crops, gardens, and landscapes. This workshop will provide an overview of different options available for drip irrigation systems and how to install them. You will also learn how to troubleshoot and inspect your system, and how to make repairs when needed.
Here is your chance to learn How to Grow and Use Herbs and Microgreens (Saturday, May 9): In this new workshop, discover the best ways to grow herbs, and explore the many ways to use them: dried, in teas, in herbal vinegars, and in home-made beauty products. Our resident herbalist will include her recipes and samples. In addition, she will discuss how to grow microgreens in your kitchen for use in salads, sandwiches, soups, and main dishes.
A repeat workshop, Hardscape in your Garden (Thursday, May 14), takes place at Sutherland Landscape Center in Chico. In planning your new drought-tolerant landscapes consider adding hardscapes as well. Choose hardscape materials that are permeable, so water will filter through and recharge our groundwater. Create places to sit and rest in the garden. Include boulders, rocks, and loose rock walls to provide wildlife habitat.
Our final workshop is the important Firewise Landscaping Series (four consecutive Wednesdays, May 13 through June 3, at Pat's Barn at Patrick Ranch). This is a course on rethinking your landscape design and maintenance routines to incorporate best practices for adapting to our changing climate. Topics include: considerations for California habitats; yard maintenance; garden design using defensible space guidelines; natural regeneration; erosion; mulching; fire ecology; post-fire care of trees and land; and the characteristics of those plants that provide the best fire resistance.
- Registration is required for all workshops.
- Questions? Need to cancel? Want to get on a Workshop Waiting List? Email: email@example.com.
We hope that you will join us for these free and informative explorations of our love of plants, gardening and landscapes.
To learn more about UC Butte County Master Gardeners and their upcoming events, and for help with gardening in our area, visit our website. If you have a gardening question or problem, call our Hotline at (530) 538-7201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.