Author Archives: Marcy Sousa

The Summer Blahs: Beating the Heat in the Garden (By Katie Walter, San Joaquin Master Gardener)

Even the most passionate gardener gets tired at this time of year. This summer has been a doozy and the heat can feel relentless. Blue skies are lovely, but wouldn’t a few days of gray, drizzly London weather be a pleasant change? August in the Central Valley seldom offers a break from the heat, however. [...]

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It’s Almost Time to Get Planting by Katie Walter (UC Master Gardener San Joaquin County)

How is your garden growing? Tomatoes, peppers, melons, and of course zucchini are probably going strong, and zinnias and dahlias are flowering like mad, given enough water.  Other parts of your garden, no matter how large or small, may be looking a little peaked in the heat. Lettuce, spinach, and other spring greens have gone [...]

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Gardening for a Lifetime


Gardening is one of those hobbies that you can do throughout your lifetime- but that doesn’t mean our bodies can go like they used to. Your muscles may get weaker and ache more readily. Falls can do more damage. Your energy and endurance may wane, and your skin may get thinner. Gardening keeps you healthy [...]

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Troubleshooting Tomato Problems

Catfacing on tomatoes

One of the most versatile and rewarding plants in a summer edible garden is the tomato. According to a 2014 study by the National Gardening Association, 86 percent of homes with vegetable gardens grow tomatoes. It is understandable that the tomato plant is a popular home vegetable garden staple. Tomatoes offer thousands of different varieties [...]

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Protecting You And Your Garden During A Heatwave

Hello summer! Today marks the official first day of summer and it is hot out there! The last thing you may be thinking about are your plants in the garden but this week of temperatures over 100° can be stressful on our landscapes. The sizzling heat not only affects your ability to enjoy the outdoors, [...]

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Creating a Hummingbird Habitat

Do you love to watch hummingbirds fly around your garden? Many gardeners are fascinated with the beauty and aerobatics of hummingbirds. The key to attracting hummingbirds to your yard is to plant lots of flowers and provide the habitat that will give them shade, shelter, food, and security. These birds are loyal and once they find [...]

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Bee Kind to Our Hardworking Pollinators

Master Gardeners are often asked to speak at local garden clubs and other social organizations and a topic that is always of interest is gardening for pollinators, especially bees.  It seems lately, gardeners are trying to do their part in helping the bees, and that is a good thing! There are 4,000 species of native [...]

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It’s Time to Thin Fruit

Spring is a busy time in the garden and gardeners often find themselves with a list chores to complete. If you are looking for some inspiration to get started in your own garden, join us at our Spring Open Garden day on April 22, from 9 am – noon.  Master Gardeners will be working in [...]

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What’s Old is New Again

A very basic concept has sparked an exciting revolution with this generation, but it is far from new. Upcycling is the act of taking something no longer in use and giving it a second life and new function. Some of the best examples of modern-day upcycling come from the 1930s-40s when families had very little [...]

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Inspecting Trees for Hazards

Storm damaged trees are something many homeowners will have to deal with at some point. This last storm brought with it some pretty powerful winds and with that many downed fences and trees. For some, it may be too late to inspect trees for potential hazards but hopefully for many of you, this last storm [...]

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  • Blog Authors

    Lee Miller

    Lee Miller is a University of Delaware graduate and retired fisheries biologist, he gardens on 10 acres and makes wine each year with the help of a cadre of friends. However, his first love is gardening and he grows various fruit trees, heirloom ... Read Full

    Marcy Sousa

    Marcy Sousa is the San Joaquin County UC Master Gardener Program Coordinator. She is a Stockton native and enjoys teaching others about gardening. She has her bachelors from Stanislaus State in Permaculture. She has been with the program since 2007. Read Full

    Nadia Zane

    Nadia Zane is a UC Master Gardener, a landscape designer and Stockton native. She has a fondness for California native plants and sustainable landscaping, which she utilizes in her work for Native Beauty Garden Design. She is a member of the CA ... Read Full
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