- UC Marin Master Gardener Events & Classes
Garden Help from UC Marin Master Gardeners
- Farmers Markets
- Help Desk
- All about citrus
- Ornamental grasses for your landscape
- Beneficial insects and why they matter
- Preventing a codling moth invasion
- Stop snails in their tracks
- Winter garden color
- Caring for holiday gift plants
- Propagating native plants
- Japanese maples
- Container gardening
- Growing gorgeous camellias
- Redwood trees
- Pomegranates: an ancient tree
- Bulbs for spring
- Nothing quite like a freshly picked bouquet
- Seeds hold the miracle of life, so save, swap and share them
- Sold on Salvia
- Sudden Oak Death: a million trees gone and counting
- Habitat gardens
- Growing In Your Garden Now - Fava Beans
- Using water effectively in the garden
- Yikes, thrips
- Growing a salad in a pot
- Rain gardens: an attractive solution to a challenging environmental problem
- How to select bare root roses
- Lovely birds... or pests?
- Australian plants in winter
- Get a head start on spring with cold frames
- Snails and slugs: keep them out of the garden
- Sow seeds now for flowers in spring and summer
- Fire-safe landscaping
- Plants made for the shade
- Chinese pistache tree glows in autumn
- Attracting honey and native bees to your garden
- Sow wildflower seeds in fall for spring show
- Native shrubs create a visual anchor in landscapes - fast
- What to plant in the fall-winter veggie garden
- Proper pruning of wisteria for a plethora of blossoms
- Compost for every corner of your spring garden
- All about mushrooms
- Butterflies in the garden
- Growing blueberries
- How to plant a fruit tree
- Protecting plants from frost
- What's that plant?
- Bright spots of color lift the drabness of the winter garden
- Books for Marin gardeners
- Benefits of School Gardens
- Trees: not just nice to look at
- Dealing with mosquitos
- Epilobium – California fuchsia
- Why bees matter, and how you can help
- Picking the Right Plant for the Right Place in Your Garden
- What's That Plant?
- Keeping Cut Flowers Fresh
- Late Summer Color
- Growing Summer Squash
- Short on space? Containers!
- Herbs: tough, attractive, practical
- These plants are true companions
- Companion planting in the vegetable garden
- Get Grounded – Healthy Soil Does Matter
- Mushrooms on the March
- Our Gentle Winters are Good for Vegetables
- Rodents like it Warm
- Know What Makes an Invasive Species Invasive
- California Natives - Plant Like a Native
- Consider a Simple Water-Catchment System and Rain Garden/Bioswale Before Winter Rains Arrive
- Have You Scheduled a FREE Bay-Friendly Garden Walk?
- A Green Autumn
- Rx for Pests: Ants
- Fine Tune Your Garden
- Colorful Drought-Tolerant Plants Thrive in Marin
- Water Restrictions and Recognizing Signs of Water Stress
- UC Researcher Is Helping Plants Survive the Drought
- Summer Is Perfect For Peppers
- Do the Leaves on Your Trees Look Scorched?
- Fine Tune Your Garden
- How to Recognize Drought and Water Stress
- Spring is the Time for Potatoes, Asparagus and Citrus
- Don't Let Stink Bugs... Bug Your Vegetables
- Harvesting Berries
- Water Heroes
- Natural Cold Storage
- Fruit Trees; Why We Treat Them in Dormancy
- Fondness for Old Friends
- What Happens to Garden Bad Guys in Winter?
- Plants that aren't blown away by the wind
- A hill o' beans
- Fruit tree thinning
- Fragrant plants: Add some chocolate or Kool-Aid to your garden
- Top 10 resolutions for Marin gardeners
- Trees with interesting bark shine in winter
- Who says your garden has to be green?
- Plant bulbs now for spring beauty
- Gardener's checklist for fall
- Cover crops boost soil in vegetable beds
- Rx: Living with deer
- Growing berries in Marin
- How to build healthy soil
- Gardener's checklist for summer
- Water-saving tips for the home garden
- Gardener's checklist for spring
- Stop the popping - Controlling hairy bittercress
- How to control aphids
- Brightening up the winter garden
- Selecting a fruit tree
- What to plant and harvest in the winter vegetable garden
- Rain, rain, don't go away
- Gardener's checklist for winter
- Getting rid of rats
- Fall: a time for planning and planting
- Asparagus: spears for years
- Lawn: use it or lose it
- Rx for powdery mildew
- Community Outreach Projects of UC Marin Master Gardeners
- Great Gardening Information
- Selecting Plants
- Marin Master Gardener Independent Journal Articles
- How to Become a Master Gardener
- UC Marin Master Gardeners Opportunity Fund: Providing for the Future
Water-saving tips for the home garden
Almost a third of Marin County’s water is used for irrigation. The majority of Marin residents use around 8,000 gallons or less of water per month. Although this sounds like a massive quantity of water, consider this: 10 sprinkler heads running for 20 minutes can easily spew out more than 1,000 gallons of water. With water rates rising, here’s a list of some actions homeowners can take to conserve this costly and precious resource:
Determine if you have any water leaks. Learn how to check your water meter if you receive an unexpectedly high water bill. It could indicate a leak.
- Tune up your irrigation system. Like cars, irrigation systems require maintenance. Emitters fly off, sprinkler heads break, timers go haywire. At least once a month, turn each of your irrigation stations on manually and observe what’s happening in your garden. If you spot a geyser or hear rushing water under a shrub, replace the missing drip emitter or spray head. Correct any tilted, blocked or misdirected spray heads. Consider replacing spray nozzles with “MP rotator” nozzles to improve coverage.
- Adjust your watering schedule. If you have a timer, don’t just set it and forget it. Your garden needs the most water in July when days are long. As day length shortens, you can cut back your irrigation time. To avoid runoff on slopes, set multiple start times (for example, water for 10 minutes at 6 a.m. and then again at 7 a.m., rather than 20 minutes all at once). Try cutting back on your watering times by 10 percent and observe your plants for signs of stress. Sign up for the Marin Municipal Water District’s (MMWD) weekly watering schedule e-mail.
- Reduce your lawn area. Turf grass requires more than 20,000 gallons of water per year per 1,000 square feet. There are many new lawn alternatives available, including native sods, groundcovers that tolerate light foot traffic and other ornamental grasses. They require less water, less maintenance and reduced use of fertilizers and herbicides.
- Introduce plants with low-water needs. There are hundreds of California natives and plants from other dry-summer climates that are beautiful, need minimal irrigation and attract beneficial wildlife. Check out the Marin Master Gardener Water-Wise Plant Guide for ideas and photos.
- Mulch, mulch, mulch! Maintaining a two to three-inch layer of mulch conserves water, adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down, and suppresses weeds. It is one of the easiest and best things you can do for your garden.
- Check your water pressure. High pressure can damage drip systems and cause spray heads to mist, losing water to evaporation. Low water pressure diminishes the performance of your irrigation system. Appropriate pressures are 40-80 pounds per square inch (psi) for the house; 15-25 psi for drip irrigation; 25-30 psi for sprayers; 40-50 psi for rotors and impact sprayers.
- Cover your pool. An uncovered pool can lose hundreds of gallons of water per week to evaporation.
- Sign up for a free Bay-Friendly Water Walk. Customers of the Marin Municipal Water District can call 415-473-4204 to schedule a visit by specially trained Master Gardeners who will suggest irrigation improvements and plant selections. Read more about this service.
Contributors: Faith Brown and Marie Narlock