Colusa County
University of California
Colusa County

Master Gardeners


 Science based solutions for Colusa County's gardening communities.

This is what we do!

Click here for a short video!



February in the Garden

 In the Garden

  • Around Valentine’s Day apply dormant copper spray to peach and nectarine trees no later than bud swell.
  • Fertilize mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.
  • Be sure to remove and discard (do not compost) fallen camellia blossoms to reduce petal blight.
  • Fertilize spring blooming and fall-planted perennials.
  • Mulch 3 inches deep around plants (without touching stems) to conserve soil moisture.
  • Plant in vegetable garden by direct seeding: radishes, beets, chard, and peas.
  • Start tomato, pepper and eggplant seeds indoors.
  • Flowers to transplant or direct seed: snapdragon, candytuft, larkspur, coral bells, and stock.
  • Plant bulbs for summer bloom: dahlias, begonias, gladiolus, lilies, etc.
  • Plant potaotes


  • Finish pruning roses.
  • Prune summer blooming shrubs now.

Pest and Disease Control

  • Watch for aphids on spring blooming bulbs; remove with a strong spray of water.
  • As the weather warms prepare to battle slugs and snails with traps or pet-friendly baits.



Drought Advice



Create drought resistant soil

  1. By incorporating 2-4 inches of compost into the soil you will increase the water holding capacity of the soil.
  2. Topdressing compost around plants will reduce water needs but not up to the plant base.       Space @ the base.
  3. Mulch all exposed soil to reduce evaporation with bark, leaf litter or rocks


  • Reduced water usage


Grow California or Mediterranean natives

Check out the UC Arboretum All-Stars

  1. Plants thrive with little irrigation
  2. Planting in the fall allows the roots to grow without competition
  3. Irrigate until established
  4. Minimize high water use ornamentals


Cal Iris

  • Reduce watering
  • Reduce trimming
  • Reduce fertilizing
  • Reduce spraying


Minimize the Lawn

  1. The use of native groundcovers, grasses, shrubs and trees make an eye catching garden
  2. Reduce the size of the lawn and plant Tall fescue. It is a cool season grass that does well in summer. Most cool season grasses need a lot of water to look good
  3. Avoid slopes, plant a ground cover instead of lawn


Min lawn

  • Conserve water
  • Conserve energy
  • Conserve labor        



  1. By grouping plants together by water and light needs plants tend to be healthy
  2. When you group your plants together by water and light needs then you can properly water each micro-climate
  3. Use California natives


  • Healthy plants
  • Conserve water
  • Less pruning


Irrigation System

  1. Remember to change your irrigation timer seasonally. Monthly adjustments are encouraged
  2. Use an automatic controller on your irrigation system
  3. Use drip for your flower and shrub beds
  4. Replace old sprinkler heads with high efficient ones. If your system is over 10 years old check out the new sprinkler heads at your local garden center
  5. Use multiple run times if you have a lot of run-off before the timer shuts off.  For example; you should irrigate every other day for 20 minutes but after 15 minutes the water is running off the lawn. Instead run the system for 10 minutes, wait 1 hour and run for another 10 minutes. This works especially well on slopes.


  • Limit evaporation and run-off
  • Limit disease
  • Limit weeds


Irrigate according to the season

  1. Know your watering needs (Lawn water kits are available in our office)
  2. Adjust watering to the season, use chart in Lawn Watering brochure
  3. Water early
  4. Water slowly
  5. Water deeply


  • Appropriate watering slows plant growth
  • Promotes plant health
  • Reduces pruning and mowing
  • It is estimated that overwatering causes 85% of all landscape problems


Make every Drop Count                 

  1. Water wisely and slowly.
  2. Mulch is one of the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective ways to save water
  3. Repair leaks and broken sprinklers
  4. Reduce overspray areas
  5. Adjust the system frequently to the season
  6. Mulching exposed soil reduces evaporation.
  7. Prevent urban drool


  • Conserve water
  • Save money
  • Urban landscape water use can be reduced by 50%


Help your trees survive the drought

More information:

8 Smart Gardening Practices

How to save water in your garden

Keep Plantings Alive under Drought Conditions

Lawn Watering Guide for California

Lawn Watering

Rules of Thumb for Water Wise Landscape

Water Conservation checklist

Water Conservation Tips



California Garden Web

UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

River Friendly Landscaping

UC Davis Arboretum

UC Master Gardeners of Sacramento County

UC Master Gardeners of San Joaquin County



Asian Citrus Psyllid

Asian Citrus Psyllid is an insect that carries a devastating disease in Citrus trees and there is no cure. The insect and disease is usually detected in home citrus first. Click here to read more about the Asian Citrus Psyllid and the Huanglongbing disease.

The Asian Citrus Psyllid has been found in San Joaquin County.

Click here to read about the Asian Citrus Psyllid from the UCCE Master Gardeners of San Joaquin County.

Click here for Spanish


UC Master Gardeners of Colusa County

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The University of California Master Gardener Program provides the public with UC research-based information about home horticulture, sustainable landscape and pest management practices. The program is administered by local University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) county offices that are the principal outreach and public service arms of the University’s division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The UC Master Gardener program supports sustainable gardening practices that protect the environment, conserve natural resources, and take into consideration each gardener's lifestyle and goals.


What do UC Master Gardeners do?

UC Master Gardeners are trained to help residents of California become better gardeners. Using a variety of activities such as workshops, lectures, and garden hotlines these volunteers answer questions about home horticulture, sustainable landscaping, and integrated pest management using University of California research-based information.

After their training UC Master Gardeners are qualified to help the public with problems in areas such as:

  • Weed Control
  • Plant Problem Diagnosis
  • Integrated Pest Management (insect and pest control)
  • Soils, fertilizers and irrigation
  • Selecting and caring for fruit and landscape trees
  • Growing annuals, perennials and food crops
  • Lawn care
  • Vegetable Gardening
  • Plant Pathology
  • Composting


Each county develops programs to address local needs. Some typical activities are:

  • Using mass media to disseminate gardening information
  • Teaching workshops, or lecturing on gardening practices
  • Participating in research activities with academics within UC
  • Answering gardeners’ questions via email or helplines
  • Speaking to the public on horticultural and gardening topics
  • Manning county fair information booths
  • Consulting with gardeners to improve their landscape practices


Find us on Facebook



Event Name

Garden Advice and Workshops


Farm Bureau Dinner

MG Dessert Silent Auction

March 5

Colusa County Fairgrounds


Plant Clinic

April 3

Bring plants that need to be re-potted (bring a new pot)

Griff's Feed and Seed, Colusa

 Plant clinic flyer


Colusa County Family Fair

April 11

Colusa County Fairgrounds

Family Fair Flyer


Walking Workshop Tour

April 25



May Surprise

May 2



Colusa County Fair

June 4-7

Colusa County Fairgrounds



Featured Plant


California fescue


Medium size

California native




Master Gardener Blog

The UC Apiary Newsletter Is Smokin'

Extension apiculturist Elina Niño in front of hives at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If you're looking for the newsletter, from the UC apiaries, it has a new home. The new UC California Cooperative Extension apiculturist, Elina Lastro Niño, has moved it to her website now that Eric Mussen has retired. Mussen, now Extension...

Posted on Friday, February 27, 2015 at 5:20 PM

Ladybug, Ladybug, Stay at my House!

Ladybug adult

This article is mainly from the UC Master Gardeners of Butte County's blog, The Real Dirt. I've shortened it. Ladybugs (Ladybeetles) are beneficial insects that play a major role in keeping down populations of insects that feed on plants. Perhaps most...

Posted on Friday, February 27, 2015 at 9:03 AM
Tags: aphids (23), Colusa County (1), gardening (1), ladybugs (30), Master Gardeners (17)

Remembering Vernon Burton: 1924-2015

Vern Burton at 85. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Family, friends and colleagues are remembering Vernon Burton, 90, known for his 38-year exemplary career with UC Cooperative Extension, including 10 years as a Kern County farm adviser in Bakersfield, and 28 years with UC Davis Department of Entomology...

Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 6:39 PM
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