December in Sonoma County
The Bloomin’ Backyards team is working hard to prepare six unique Petaluma gardens belonging to Master Gardeners for the 2020 BBY Tour. The gardens have been selected for their beauty and as displays of sustainable gardening practices. Each of the gardens will be featured in an article on the website over the next six months. You will learn what to look for in each, and understand what to appreciate such as: goals of the gardener, special features of a particular garden, and important gardening practices such as sustainability, firewise choices, and other valuable horticultural methods.
The Spring 2020 Bloomin’ Backyards garden tour is scheduled for Sunday, May 17, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Petaluma. Recognized experts will be on hand to demonstrate and answer questions on organic gardening, soil development, drip irrigation, integrated pest management, habitat gardening, growing fruits and vegetables, water catchment, firewise landscaping, and much, much more. The tour is a biennial event presented by the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County.
Ticket information will be posted on our website in early January. Please visit sonomamg.ucanr.edu for regularly updated information.
A Time To Rest...NOT!
Watch the new Sudden Oak Death Video
The Sudden Oak Death team at the University of California Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources has just released a new video that is well worth watching. There's a lot to learn here, all presented with great visuals to aid our understanding of Sudden Oak Death. Makes learning about SOD easy!
Growing a Thriving Vegetable Garden with Less Water
The Food Gardening Specialists (FGS) of the UCCE Sonoma Master Gardeners are excited to present water-wise food gardening strategies. Given our hot, dry summers along with the prediction of extended drought, we can’t afford to waste a drop. This video demonstrates how home and community gardeners can grow a thriving vegetable garden with less water. In addition, this video is complemented by a planting scheme and a drip system instruction and shopping list that reflect the 4x8-foot demonstration vegetable bed in the video. Click here for these documents along with additional helpful documents for food gardening with less water.
Ask a Master Gardener
Questions and Answers from the Helpline
Watch to Learn What Master Gardeners Do
Master Gardener-staffed Help Desks are located
at Sonoma County Farmers' Markets and Fairs
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
|Rain Gardens. A beautiful way to keep water in the garden - Healdsburg||12/7/2019|
|Pruning and Caring for Fruit Trees - Petaluma||12/7/2019|
|Holiday Arrangements from the Seasonal Garden - Sebastopol||12/7/2019|
Sundays with Sue
By SCMG Sue Lovelace
Updated: December 1, 2019
Speaking of Thanksgiving, it was great to have so many veggies and fruits from the garden for our meal. The chard and parsley were plentiful for the stuffing, and a mixture of greens (arugula, several kinds of lettuce, kale, and mustards) became a delicious salad. Our son and his wife brought carrots from their garden and local Half Moon Bay Brussel sprouts, which were roasted together for a side dish. The ‘Brazilian Broccoli’ in the garden had not headed up yet but the leaves were snacked on, in the garden, by the grandchildren, as was the kale.
I would like to expound on the fact that edible gardens are magnets for children who like to pick and snack. Somehow, having the freedom to do that, in a respectful manner, introduces food to children (adults, too!) they would not be prone to eat at the dinner table. I saw this clearly with regards to my two grandsons, who are 5 and 3 years old. They normally turn up their noses to many vegetables at the dinner table but love to snack their way through the garden. If you talk to garden coordinators at many of the schools and others that work directly with children, they will tell you stories of children who never saw how food is grown, all of a sudden, wanting to eat them in there natural state, or prepared in simple meals such as in Quesadillas and stir fries.
In this time of giving thanks, it is an appropriate time to give a huge appreciation to those who grow organic, sustainable, edible gardens; whether it be for education, community sharing, providing in a commercial sense (think of the produce you may have tasted for the first time at a “farm to table” restaurant or event, or purchased fresh at a local farmers market) or in a home or private setting. Time and time, again, we are seeing that eating organic, eating local, eating fresh, and knowing where your food comes from and how it’s handled, are safe, healthy, respectful contributions to a good life for us and for the planet??
From one holiday to another, we go! Wishing you a warm, dry, uneventful week ahead, in the rains we are forecasted to have. All plants will be happy! Where are those rain boots?!
“The rain is falling all around, It falls on field and trees, It falls on the umbrellas here, and on the ships at sea.” Robert Louis Stevenson
Master Gardeners in Print
The Garden Doctors
Dana Lozano & Gwen Kilchherr, The Press Democrat
The best ways to store squash and potatoes 10/18/2019
Webmasters: Kim Roche, Stan Pawlak
Website Editor: Penny Fink
Food Gardening Editor: Stephanie Wrightson
Staff Photographers and Videographers:
Cie Cary, Electra de Peyster,
Coby Lafayette-Kelleher, Laura Salo Long