January in Sonoma County
Friday, January 22: Noon—1:00 pm or
Friday, February 5: Noon—1:00 pm
Click here to RSVP. Can’t make either meeting? Sign up at the registration site to receive a link to a recorded meeting.
The Wonderful World of Worms - Zoom Talk
Fruit Trees - Bare Root
To reduce the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and in compliance with county orders, we have adjusted our services accordingly:
- All in-person events are suspended. Library talks have been replaced by Zoom events. Please check the "Upcoming Events" section at the top-right of this page for currently scheduled events.
Master Gardeners in Print
The Garden Doctors
Dana Lozano & Gwen Kilchherr, The Press Democrat
What variety of oregano should I grow? 10/16/2020
Master Gardeners are volunteers trained by the UC Davis Cooperative Extension.
Sonoma County Master Gardeners will provide environmentally sustainable, science-based horticultural information to all of Sonoma County’s population. We strive for diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our organization.
UCCE Farm Advisor: Stephanie Larson, County Director
SCMG Coordinator: Mimi Enright
We are not currently accepting walk-ins or specimen drop offs at our Master Gardener Information Desk at the UCCE Sonoma office.
Please email your questions and attach photos if you have them. One of our Information Desk experts will get back to you.
|The Wonderful World of Worms - Zoom Talk||2/13/2021|
Sundays with Sue
By SCMG Sue Lovelace
January 24, 2021
After experiencing the sad, penetrating eyes of our black lab staring me down, I grabbed an umbrella and took Poppy for a walk in the rain. The first thing I noticed was that the rain drops were falling straight down barely wetting my pants. The persistent rain felt different, somewhat lighter. I learned later from a post by Master Gardener Bill Klausing that what I was most likely experiencing had a name called Graupel (a water covered snowflake). Now, as I watch weather reports, Graupel seems to be the word of the day.
Hearing that more precipitation was coming, I walked through the front yard garden to assess how I could make the most of it. Spotting an irrigation hose extending from the backyard rain barrels, it occurred to me that we could make better use of the overflowing rain barrels by using the downward slope of the garden to efficiently deliver water to numerous fruit trees we have planted throughout the landscape. The phrase “stop, spread, sink” came into my mind after seeing our neighbor’s new dry creek bed (I also refer to this as a stream bed indicating that the water will flow) I decided this was the time to have one in our garden.
Because of the deep slope of our front yard, planting on berms (raised mounds of soil) helped stop the flow of water (when we have it) allowing it to sink into the ground rather than flow into the street. Planting on mounds also improved drainage (a must with clay soil) with heavy additions of compost. Mounds of acid based soil were created to plant blueberries in. The depressed areas where water collects in front of the berms are called swales and that’s exactly where I wanted the dry creek to flow to. The pollinator plants, mostly native and Mediterranean, were planted on mounds in separate beds that prefer low water and plenty of drainage. I should clarify that these plants depend on winter rains to sustain them over the dry summer, with a small amount of supplemental water during the very hot months. Because dry creek beds or streams on a slope can collect significant water in heavy rains, concentrating on the beds with plants that appreciate more water (like the fruit trees and berries) was the goal.
The food garden seems very healthy and thriving with the help of row covers. The Brazilian Broccoli (Piracicaba) a sprouting broccoli much like Spigarello but bigger is outgrowing the row cover where it’s interplanted with more tender lettuce. Expansion of the row cover to protect the lettuce is in order. Spinach is coming up as is new peas. We had our first Chinese cabbage salad and it was heavenly with a bit of crisp and spice! I’m slowly pruning fruit trees: last week the fig, this week the persimmon, apple and peach.
Looking forward to another busy week. I hope you are too. Have a good week!
“A dry creek bed, also known as a dry stream bed, is a gully or trench, usually lined with stones and edged with plants to mimic a natural riparian area.” Gardening Know How
Webmasters: Kim Roche, Stan Pawlak
Website Editor: Penny Fink
Food Gardening Editor: Open, master gardeners please apply!
Staff Photographers and Videographers:
Cie Cary, Electra de Peyster,
Coby Lafayette-Kelleher, Laura Salo Long