Category Archives: Uncategorized

Gardens as a metaphor for life

An acquaintance recently told me about a favorite and once thriving shrub that was in serious decline.  The problem: over time, branches from a nearby tree had grown and spread so widely that they were shading out the sun-loving plant. The only viable options: severely prune back the mature tree and destroy its structure, or [...]

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Dormant sprays can help reduce pests and disease in fruit trees

If you have a fruit tree, you know that gardeners are not the only ones who enjoy the bounty of the harvest.  There are many pests — such as scales, aphids and mites – that feast on the tender plant parts and these same pests overwinter on the fruit trees. Dormant oils help control these [...]

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Managing Mistletoe in Trees

You may have seen Mistletoe hung in doorways over these past few weeks. It is a traditional holiday decoration, but when it’s growing on trees in the landscape, this parasitic plant may not seem quite as charming. There are two types of mistletoe: broadleaf and dwarf. Broadleaf mistletoe (Phoradendron macrophyllum) is an evergreen parasitic plant [...]

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Bare Root Season is here—time to plant

Bare root season is here at nurseries and stores and it is a relatively short season. The plants are dug when dormant, hence it lasts from now to about mid-February, so plan to get out and get those plants you want to grow next spring while the selection is at its best. The season is [...]

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Avoid problems with some smaller trees for shade and color.

Red maples in my neighbor's front garden.

A friend asked me recently if there are modest sized trees to plant for shade. Her recent experience was removing a Magnolia tree which had cracked up her driveway. The back-hoe operator, who took out the root-ball, said it was the largest he had ever removed. We have to be wary of planting trees that [...]

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Master Gardeners – we’re here to help you

Have you ever wondered where to go for advice about landscaping or vegetable gardening? Does a pest problem have you stumped? Do you need guidance on how and when to prune your favorite specimen plant or fruit tree? Master Gardeners are here to help! The Master Gardener Program is administered by the University of California [...]

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Dormant sprays can help reduce pests and disease in fruit trees

If you have a fruit tree, you know that gardeners are not the only ones who enjoy the bounty of the harvest.  There are many pests — such as scales, aphids and mites – that  feast on the tender plant parts and these same pests overwinter on the fruit trees. Dormant oils help control these [...]

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Winter blooming plants to brighten the garden

Winter is a thankfully slow and sleepy season in the garden. Fallen leaves have been cleared away, lawns need less mowing, and busy gardeners can take a breather from the never-ending maintenance chores of the warm growing season. Once the weather turns cool and cloudy, what better way to chase away the winter doldrums than [...]

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Good soil is the gardener’s best asset.

Clay soils crack open in the dry season.

Gardening is not just about plants, landscapes, flowers and vegetables. There is always the basis of a great garden—the soil to consider. I always recommend to people who want to get back to the land or want to commit to serious gardening to check out the soil before they buy property. That said, I recently [...]

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What is your gardening style?

I have always been somewhat conflicted about human’s role in nature. I grew up with a 40 acre woodlot on our farm and always liked the wild woods I experienced as a kid. So I came to gardening with a mixed viewpoint. I wanted to garden somewhat on the wild side, but I know that [...]

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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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