Author Archives: Kathy Ikeda

Kathy Ikeda

Kathy Ikeda is a UC Master Gardener, independent landscape designer, certified San Joaquin County Green Gardener, and Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL). She has called Stockton her home for 30 years, and enjoys sharing her love of plants, sustainable low-water-use landscaping, and the natural world with others. She’s a member of the California Native Plant Society, EcoLandscape California, and the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, and has a background environmental planning, a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and cell biology, and an A.S. in Horticulture from San Joaquin Delta College.

Vegetable gardening in the days of COVID-19, and beyond

An extended period of home isolation might be necessary in the near future to minimize the rapid spread and devastating consequences of the new coronavirus pandemic. Last week, I recommended vegetable gardening as a way to cope with the stress of social distancing and as a source of healthy food and safe outdoor activity. That […]

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The value of gardens and gardening in trying times

This is truly an unprecedented period in the history of our country and our world. The sudden development and rapid spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus is upending lives around the planet, and our normal lives and customary routines have been put on hold for the foreseeable future. This column is supposed to be garden-related, but […]

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It’s time to plan for spring garden events

Spring is a busy time for garden-related happenings in San Joaquin and neighboring counties. There’s something happening nearly every weekend between now and summer, and with so many events to choose from, there are plentiful opportunities for fun and enriching outings. Consider taking advantage of these upcoming events to expand your knowledge, buy new water-wise […]

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Reveling in warmth, hoping for cold

I enjoy mild winter weather as much as the next person. It’s so refreshing to emerge from the house on an unseasonably warm and dry day and bask in the sun’s rays while catching up on garden chores.  People tend to think of cold weather as inconvenient at best and damaging at worst. Frigid days […]

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Euphorbia euphoria — a fascinating collection of plants

Euphorbias are simply incredible. Over my many years of visiting various botanical gardens, arboretums, and nurseries, I’ve developed a great fondness for and sense of amazement about this genus of plants. Almost every time our family visits a new public garden, we encounter yet another Euphorbia species, and we exclaim in near disbelief, “That’s a […]

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Poinsettias: history, fun facts, and more

Poinsettias have become a symbolic plant during the holiday season, their deep green leaves and bright red rosettes adorning tables and windows across the country. Marcy Sousa’s recent column briefly discussed the care of this and other ubiquitous Christmastime houseplants, but let’s take a closer look at this unique plant species. Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are evergreen […]

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Winter pruning of fruit trees

We’re fortunate to live in California’s Central Valley—one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the country—and thus we have the ability to grow a huge variety of fruit- and nut-bearing trees. Stone fruits (apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums), pome fruits (apples, pears, Asian pears), nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), and others (figs, persimmons) all do […]

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Welcoming fall, and a look to the future

We’re only a week and a half into fall, but already it’s been a season of unexpected, roller-coaster temperatures, with record-tying heat alternating with unseasonably cool days and rain. Who knows what surprises are yet to come? Master Gardeners welcomed in the new season this past Saturday, September 28 with Open Garden Day at our […]

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Plan ahead for special fall garden events

This time of year is when gardeners begin to anticipate some relief from summer heat and cooler, more enjoyable outdoor time. The searing days of summer are a perfect time to plan landscape improvements, and fall is the best time to implement them. The late fall months of October and November are especially ideal for […]

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How to help your houseplants thrive

Houseplants. They bring beautiful greenery and a soothing outdoor presence to artificial interior environments. They convert the carbon dioxide we exhale into fresh oxygen. They help filter pollutants from sterile, indoor air. In other words, they’re simply miraculous! Houseplants are typically grown for their foliage; their leaves can range from tiny to huge, lacy to […]

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