- Author: Jutta Thoerner
- Editor: Noni Todd
Cut Flower Workshop
By Jutta Thoerner UCCE Master Gardener
I want to grow flowers to have in vases in my home but have never had a flower garden. Any suggestions? Karen D. Atascadero
Do you love flowers, particularly roses? Many relish the thought of adorning their tabletops with cut flowers, freshly cut from their own garden, but never quite get around to planting a flower garden. Still others try their hand at photo-ready blooms but fall short when the pests get to them first. UCCE Master Gardeners can help. Join us this Saturday for a free Advice to Grow By workshop for tips and inspiration.
Is there a trick to cutting roses for arrangements and continue to have blooms all season? The two-part presentation will explain which flowers are suited for cut flower arrangements and explain the pro and cons of annuals versus perennials. You will learn which flowers attract pollinator friends and how to keep pests from eating those petals. If you are frustrated by roses and their many needs, a handy calendar of rose care will be provided. We will discuss water and fertilizer protocols and of course, pest prevention. We will also address the difference between tea, bush and climbing roses, from selection to pruning.
Join us at the UCCE Master Gardner “Advice to Grow By” workshop on Saturday May 18th in our demonstration garden at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo, 10 a.m. to 12:00. If inclement weather, it will be moved to the auditorium. Garden docents will be available after the workshop until 1:00 pm.
For more information about UCCE Master Gardeners or to register for workshops, visit our website at http://ucanr.edu/sites/mgslo/.
Looking for a beautiful garden to enjoy during your lunch hour? Join us on Wednesday June 5th from 11:30 to 1:30 for “Lunchtime in the Garden” at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. Bring your lunch, walk the garden, or just sit and enjoy. Master gardeners will be available to answer any questions or call 805-781-5939 or more information.
- Author: Tami Reece
- Editor: Noni Todd
By Tami Reece UCCE Master Food Preserver
It looks like I am going to have an overabundance of berries this year. How can I preserve them other than making jam? Courtney M. Paso Robles
Jam or jelly always seems to be the go-to for berries and can make great birthday and holiday gifts. But sometimes you want something different in the pantry or the freezer.
You can freeze strawberries, blackberries, or just about any kind of berry using a method called “individually quick frozen” or IQF Select fully ripe, firm berries. Wash them carefully in cold water, and discard any soft, under ripe or defective fruit. If freezing strawberries, remove the stem. Dry well on paper towels. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen remove berries from the tray and seal in freezer safe bags or containers. If you use bags, stack them flat in the freezer to maximize your freezer space. These berries can then be used for future baking, smoothies, desserts, over ice cream, just about anything. And because you used the IQF freezing method, you can use the entire container or just a small amount, it's your choice.
When it comes to drying, berries usually do not dehydrate well but are great for fruit leather. Select ripe or slightly overripe fruit. Wash in cool water removing any under ripe or defective berries. Puree in blender or food processor. Use a liner designed for fruit leathers in your dehydrator or line the trays with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Spread puree evenly, about 1/8-inch-thick onto drying tray. Dry at 140 degrees for 6 to 8 hours. Leather dries from the outside edge-in. Test for dryness by touching center; no indentation should be evident.
Of course, there are also several ways to make jams. They can be made with or without pectin, low sugar, and even quick freezer jam.
If you are interested in learning all about berries and how to preserve your harvest, please join the UCCE Master Food Preservers on May 18, 10:00 to 12:00 in the auditorium at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. Registration is required and you can sign up at http://ucanr.edu/berriesandbliss . Class fee is $10.
So Easy to Preserve, sixth edition, pages 268, 269, 342, 343./span>
- Author: Andrea Peck
- Editor: Noni Todd
By Andrea Peck UCCE Master Gardener
Common Name: Sweet Broom
Latin Name: Genista x spachianus
Size of Plant: This plant grows 6'-8' high and 5'-6' wide.
Bloom Description: Profuse bright yellow flowers clustering along the end of the stem.
Exposure: Full Sun.
Pruning Needs: Yearly, when flowering ceases in late spring.
Water Needs: Low water needs once established.
Zones: USDA Hardiness Zone 8-10
Description: Sweet broom is a large, fast-growing, and easy-to-like bush. Cheerful yellow blooms cascade like tow-headed curls during the spring, decorating the bulk of the plant and adding a refreshing pop to your landscape. Not only will these showy flowers catch your attention and brighten your day, but they are also fragrant, attracting butterflies, birds, and other pollinators. When not blooming, the shrub is attractive and easy to care for, Sweet broom is a deciduous bush with evergreen leaves and a gentle, arching lean to the branches. When full size it provides a nice, yet not too overwhelming screen.
Prune older wood, about one-third of the plant, during the late spring or summer, after the bloom. Pruning later in the year may interfere with blooming and not pruning at all may lead to a permanently scraggly, unkempt growth habit. Irrigate consistently during the first year in order to establish a deep root system. Sweet broom is known for its strong roots which make them ideal for hillsides and to stabilize soil. Fertilize once a year before blooming occurs. Once established, sweet broom is drought tolerant, but, as is the case with most low-water plants, it benefits from irrigation during extended dry, hot periods. Sweet broom thrives in almost any landscape environment including wildlife gardens, rock gardens, and patio containers.
- Author: Linda Lewis Griffith
- Editor: Noni Todd
By Linda Lewis Griffith UCCE Master Gardener
Planting Zone: Sunset zones 8-16, 18-23; USDA 8-10
Size: 8-12 feet tall and wide. However, plants can be as small as 3-4 feet or as tall as 20 feet.
Bloom Season: May or June to October
Exposure: Most varieties thrive in heat and strong light, even reflected heat from pavement. May also tolerate partial shade.
Pruning Needs: Prune in early spring to control size and form
Water Needs: Withstands considerable drought and poor drainage
Narrative: Oleanders are fast growing plants that are able to grow in challenging environments. Ordinarily broad and bulky, they can be trained into attractive single- or multi-trunked trees that bear a resemblance to olive trees and give oleanders their name.
Frequently overlooked because of their association with freeways and parking lots, oleanders have attractive, even showy, flowers. Some varieties have fragrant blooms. Others include double and single flowers forms, with colors ranging from white to shades of yellow, pink, salmon and red.
Oleanders are used in a variety of settings, including windbreaks, visual screens and borders for roads or driveways. They are especially valuable where deer are a problem as the animals completely avoid them.
Oleanders are one of the most poisonous commonly grown garden plants. All parts are toxic if eaten. Caution children against eating leaves or flowers; keep clippings and dead leaves away from hay or other animal feed. Never use as wood for campfires, barbeques or skewers as the smoke can cause irritation.
Oleanders are susceptible to several plant diseases and pests. Common bacterial infections are oleander knot disease and the potentially fatal bacterial leaf scorch. Fungal infections include leaf spot and Botryosphaeria dieback. Simple sanitation measures help keep problems under control: remove and destroy infected plants, avoid overhead watering and clean pruning tools with disinfectant. Aphids and scale can also damage leaves and shoots. Both pests produce a sugary liquid called honeydew which coats the leaves and branches. Black sooty mold often grows atop the honeydew and leads to premature leaf drop. Control measure for aphids and scales include ladybugs and other natural predators, as well as horticultural oil and insecticidal soap./h4>/h4>/h4>/h1>
- Author: Maria Murrietta
- Contributor: Dr. David Headrick
We're now seeing the aftermath of this long rainy season. The heavier than normal rain has given us velvety green hills carpeted with an abundance of wildflowers. But we cannot overlook the other less pretty things that benefit from a wet winter – lots of weeds and insects.
For now, we'll focus on insects. They're already showing up in a news-worthy fashion. KSBY did a feature story on whiteflies and spoke with UC Master Gardener Cathryn Howarth.
This story has been posted on various social media pages and people are wondering if this whitefly is a new pest, where it came from and what can be done about it. I wanted to follow up to fill in some of the gaps in information. So, I went to Cal Poly entomology professor, Dr. David Headrick who has done quite a bit of research on whiteflies over the course of his career.
Here's what he had to say after watching the news story.
"The whitefly pictured on hibiscus (in the news story) is giant whitefly which came to California from Mexico. It was first noticed in San Diego County in the early 1990s. Hibiscus is a favored host plant, but they also are seen on citrus, but more commonly on the landscape plant Xylosma. In the mid-1990s, a biological control program began with researchers at the University of California, Riverside. They successfully imported two beneficial species of tiny stingless wasps that feed exclusively on giant whitefly and achieved excellent control of giant whitefly."
"Giant whitefly and the two beneficial wasps (pictured above) all occur in San Luis Obispo County and normally the populations are all under good control. When the giant whitefly first invaded SLO county in the early 2000s, the populations were enormous and made the news then also. But the wasps soon brought whitefly numbers under control. However, in some years since then, environmental conditions have favored the giant whitefly and allowed them to outpace their natural enemies. Eventually, the wasps will catch up and population balance will be restored."
"There are many species of whitefly, most are native species that cause no serious harm to their host plants. The whiteflies that you see on broccoli, citrus, oaks, and poinsettias are all different species. Some of the invasive species of whiteflies, like giant whitefly, can indeed kill their host plants."
"As for management, spraying plants with the garden hose is a good approach when numbers are low."
Thank you, Dr. Headrick, for your insights.
UC Master Gardeners always recommend monitoring your plants regularly to catch pest populations before they become a problem. Whiteflies can be observed any time of day. Remember to flip over the leaves to look for evidence of nymphs and the waxy coating as pictured below. Insecticides, such as horticultural oils may provide some relief. However, direct contact with the insect is necessary to smother and kill them which is difficult to achieve, particularly for whiteflies that congregate under the waxy coating on the underside of leaves.
If you have questions about plant or pest issues, call the Master Gardener Helpline
Arroyo Grande: 805-473-7190
SLO Office: 805-781-5939
Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for more?
- Visit UC IPM for more photos and information: http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7401.html
- For more information about the early biological control program and findings -
UC Riverside research paper - http://www.nhm.ac.uk/resources/research-curation/projects/chalcidoids/pdf_X/BellowMe2000b.pdf
Cal AG article - http://calag.ucanr.edu/Archive/?article=ca.v051n06p5
- And if you really want o geek out, like I sometimes do, check out this catalog of introduced species - https://bugwoodcloud.org/resource/pdf/FHAAST-2018-09_Arthropod_Biological_Control.pdf