UCCE Marin County 2013 Annual Report
University of California
UCCE Marin County 2013 Annual Report

Urban Horticulture

Steven Swain, Horticulture Advisor
Staff: Peggy Mathers and Vicki Jimenez

Program Summary

The Urban Horticulture Program provides integrated landscape management information and education to the professional landscape industry, and to homeowners through the Master Gardener Program.

Walking gardens to save water

Garden Walk
Our partnership with the Marin Municipal Water District through the Marin-Friendly Garden Walks program continues to help property owners reduce the amount of water used in landscapes by assisting them with garden and irrigation design, identification of maintenance issues, and plant selection.  Our program completed is sixth year, helping more than 950 homeowners in Marin County.  These individual home garden consultations result in average water savings of approximately 8% for each participating household, which has saved Marin County more than 23 million gallons of water over the lifetime of the project.

Therapeutic options for treating sudden oak death
Tree scribbing
Our Environmental Horticulture Advisor is working with the area land trusts, State Parks, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and researchers at UC Berkeley to evaluate therapeutic treatments for sudden oak death.  This project was started in 2010, and final treatments and measurements are scheduled for late 2014.  This project has the potential to prove that intervention without the use of fungicides may be helpful in reducing mortality of oaks infected with sudden oak death.

SS walk

Homeowners collaborate on watershed planning
San Geronimo Valley residents live in a beautifully forested watershed that supports coho salmon and steelhead trout.  More than 40 of these community members participated in the San Geronimo Valley Landowner Assistance Program to contribute to the continued stewardship of the watershed one parcel at a time.  These participants received individual parcel plans for landscaping, forest care, and stream stewardship.  Additionally, they and other community members participated in public workshops where speakers demonstrated options for stream and creek care and shared local resources for native plants and other materials.  Landowner Assistance Program Partners, including San Geronimo Valley Planning Group, Prunuske Chatham Inc., Marin Department of Public Works, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife, continue to be available to provide additional technical support to program participants as well as explore opportunities to financially support stream and watershed stewardship projects.


“I am starting from scratch with planting California natives and the UC Marin Master Gardeners were wonderful.  They gave me so much information and guidance and courage to get started.” 
- Garden Walk client

“Steven, I was really awed by your incredible talent for diagnosing the problem with our community loved heritage oak.  You then carefully explained so much information about the tree and its disease so that the residents could easily understand what was going on. I learned a lot myself - you are a great educator.”
- Homeowner association representative

Webmaster Email: banielsen@ucanr.edu