- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
By Laura Lukes, Butte County Master Gardener, January 20, 2017.
These workshops are designed for the home gardener interested in creating sustainable landscapes, starting plants from seed, harvesting rainwater, learning propagation and composting techniques, and much more. A total of nineteen workshops are scheduled between February 9th and June 14th. All workshops are free of charge, with one exception: there is a small materials fee for the May 9th “Building Compost Bins” workshop.
“We are particularly excited about the new topics we've added, and the quality of our presenters,” added Ms. Perkins. “In addition to our knowledgeable Master Gardener speakers, this year we have partnered with local experts” for the workshops on worm composting at the Durham Worm Farm, hardscape materials at the Sutherland Landscape Center, and the Native Plant Walk on the CSU, Chico campus.
The primary venue for these workshops is the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden, located at the Patrick Ranch Museum on the Midway south of Chico. The Demonstration Garden features plants that thrive in a Mediterranean climate, and are particularly well suited for our conditions in Butte County. All of the plants in the Demonstration Garden do well in hot, dry summers with little water, and provide habitat for local wildlife, especially various pollinators. The Audubon Society has certified the Demonstration Garden as a wildlife habitat. In addition to the Demonstration Garden location, some of the workshops will be held inside Pat's Barn at the Patrick Ranch Museum, and a few will take place at private residences. Details are available on the website.
The workshops are listed below. Registration is required at www.ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/events/workshops. Due to space considerations, registration is limited.
- Thursday, February 9: Worm Composting, 1 – 2:30 PM
- Saturday, February 11: Mason Bees, 10 – 11:30 AM
- Saturday, February 11: Removing Your Lawn, 1 – 2:30 PM (NEW)
- Wednesday, February 22: Weed Identification and Treatment, 1 – 2:30 PM (NEW)
- Wednesday, March 15: Practical Rainwater Harvesting, 1 – 2:30 PM (NEW)
- Thursday, March 16: Propagation, 1 – 2:30 PM
- Friday, March 17: Hardscapes in the Landscape, 10 – 11:30 AM (NEW)
- Wednesday, March 29: Drip Irrigation, 10 – 11:30 AM
- Thursday, April 6: Espalier Demo Garden, 2 – 3:30 PM (NEW)
- Monday, April 17: Composting, 10 – 11:30 AM
- Thursday, April 20: Grafting Fruit Trees, 10 – 11:30 AM (NEW)
- Saturday, April 29: All About Backyard Fruit Orchards, 10 – 11:30 AM
- Thursday, May 4: All About Backyard Fruit Orchards, 10 – 11:30 AM
- Saturday, May 6: Native Plant Walk at Chico State, 1 – 2:30 PM
- Tuesday, May 9: Building Compost Bins, 10 – 11:30 AM
- Wednesday, May 10: Prune Demo Garden Orchard, 10 – 1:30 AM
- Wednesday, June 7: Basic Garden Design, 10 – 11:30 AM (NEW)
- Wednesday, June 14: Raised Bed and Hoop House, 10 – 11:30 AM (NEW)
Butte County Master Gardeners are University of California-trained volunteers whose purpose is to extend research-based knowledge and information on home horticulture, pest management, and sustainable landscape practices to the residents of Butte County. California's Master Gardener Programs are part of the University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Butte County Master Gardeners offer garden advice and assistance through their Hotline at 538-7201, at select community events, and at the farmers markets throughout Butte County. Please visit their website to find out more about them and their educational programs: www.ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg.
The Master Gardeners look forward to seeing you at their workshops, tours, plant sales, and other educational events and venues!