Science based solutions for Colusa County's gardening communities.
The UCCE Master Gardeners of Colusa County volunteer's donated 705 hours and made 736 face to face contacts in 2018/19.
Since 2009, we have volunteered 6,475 hours and made 12,154 face to face contacts in Colusa County.
This is what we do!
July in the Garden
- You can still plant seeds of annuals: zinnias, marigolds, sunflowers and alyssum will grow and bloom this year.
- Be sure everything is well mulched for the heat of summer. Water before 10 am to avoid fungal infections and to minimize water loss to evaporation.
- If you have blackberries in your garden, cut the canes that bore fruit to the ground. Tie up 3-5 of the new canes and fertilize to promote new growth.
- Cut canna stems to the ground as they finish flowering to encourage new stems to grow.
- Dig and divide bearded iris that have not been divided for 3 yrs. Cut the foliage on the divisions to 6-8 inches, replanting only new rhizomes and discarding the old rhizomes.
- You can dig and divide other bulbs after the foliage has died off.
- Deadhead blooming plants as they finish flowering to promote continuing bloom. Fertilize roses after each burst of blooms.
- Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom. You can prune by half to keep the plant in bounds.
- If you have fruit trees, be sure to pick up dropped fruit to prevent brown rot from developing and leaving spores for future infection.
Vegetable Planting Guide
Water Trees First
Our trees are the most important garden asset. They provide shade, clean the air, provide habitat for wildlife, they are beautiful and increase your property value.
A new way of irrigating trees have been developed by the University of California. As you see in the picture you will circle the tree with a drip line or soaker hose to the edge of the canopy. You can purchase supplies at your local garden center or hardware store.
To get the deep watering need for trees, you will need to run the drip line for several hours but only irrigate every 2-4 weeks. The water needs to penetrate the soil about 2-3 feed deep.
For more information from the California Center for Urban Horticulture, click here.
Create drought resistant soil
- By incorporating 2-4 inches of compost into the soil you will increase the water holding capacity of the soil.
- Topdressing compost around plants will reduce water needs but not up to the plant base. Space @ the base.
- 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
- Plants thrive with little irrigation
- Planting in the fall allows the roots to grow without competition
- Irrigate until established
- Minimize high water use ornamentals
- Reduce watering
- Reduce trimming
- Reduce fertilizing
- Reduce spraying
Minimize the Lawn
- The use of native groundcovers, grasses, shrubs and trees make an eye catching garden
- 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
- Avoid slopes, plant a ground cover instead of lawn
- Conserve water
- Conserve energy
- Conserve labor
- By grouping plants together by water and light needs plants tend to be healthy
- When you group your plants together by water and light needs then you can properly water each micro-climate
- Use California natives
- Healthy plants
- Conserve water
- Less pruning
- Remember to change your irrigation timer seasonally. Monthly adjustments are encouraged
- Use an automatic controller on your irrigation system
- Use drip for your flower and shrub beds
- 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
- 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
- Know your watering needs
- Adjust watering to the season, use chart in Lawn Watering brochure
- Water early
- Water slowly
- 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
- Water wisely and slowly.
- Mulch is one of the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective ways to save water
- Repair leaks and broken sprinklers
- Reduce overspray areas
- Adjust the system frequently to the season
- Mulching exposed soil reduces evaporation.
- Prevent urban drool
- Conserve water
- Save money
- Urban landscape water use can be reduced by 50%
Need help identifying insects and how to get rid of them? The UC IPM (Integrated Pest Management) has answers!
UC Master Gardeners of Colusa County
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
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
Master Gardener Blog
She came, she saw, she oviposited, she nectared and she left. That's the extent of our sole monarch sighting in our Vacaville pollinator garden this year. This occurred Oct. 9. But the good news is that more monarchs are gathering on...
Insect enthusiasts will love the Bohart Museum of Entomology's latest art piece, commissioned as part of the museum's 75th anniversary. A small graphic is posted on the Bohart Museum website with a link to a large PDF that you can download and...
It's that time of year again: termite swarm season! Western subterranean termites, Reticulitermes hesperus (species complex), produce reproductive swarms during calm sunny periods immediately following the first autumn rains. This is especially...