Category Archives: Uncategorized

Joining the succulent parade.

Succulents and cacti are a new world-to me. The word “succulent” comes from the Latin word sucus, meaning juice, or sap and we are unlikely to be saps for liking these plants. Succulents have the ability to thrive on mist and dew, which makes them equipped to survive with scarce water sources. In our drought [...]

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Here comes the sun (and what gardeners should know about it)

As I pondered a topic for this article, brilliant rays of sunlight penetrated the dark rain clouds, bathing my garden with a beautiful rosy glow. What perfect and timely inspiration. With respect to gardens, our sun is far more than a “mass of incandescent gas” (term borrowed from the song “Why Does the Sun Shine?”); [...]

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Keeping Your Pet Safe in The Garden

With spring just around the corner comes an increase in outdoor activities, one of those being gardening. You may be spending your day dreaming of plant combinations you can use to enhance your landscape. However, besides beauty and functionality, we have to think about our four-legged family members who search for adventure in our lawns [...]

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Composting—It is good for a more sustainable lifestyle and your garden by Lee Miller

Recently when I mentioned that I was collecting coffee grounds for compost, I was asked “What is compost?” I was a little shocked since being a gardener I thought everyone would know what compost is. Likely there are many people who don’t recognize the term, because they do not garden or, if they do, may [...]

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Seed Starting Time is Here by Lee Miller

Correction: In last week’s column, the date of the Master Gardener Smart Gardener Conference was listed as March 8, whereas the date should have been listed as Saturday, March 3. For more information see the San Joaquin Master Gardener website. Why start plants from seeds? It is fun and challenging for one reason. You also [...]

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What’s Growing On: Smart Gardening Conference, March 3 By Katie Walter

On March 3, the San Joaquin Master Gardeners will host their 2018 Smart Gardening Conference, where you can learn about optimal gardening practices for our area. This conference is just one of the ways this University of California program teaches community members to manage their gardens and landscapes in a science-based, sustainable manner. Master Gardener [...]

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It’s Citrus Season by Katie Walter

Anyone with a citrus tree or a friend with one is inundated with lemons and oranges now. Bags of lemons pass from hand to hand for use in lemon curd, limoncello liqueur, lemon meringue pie or just juice for the freezer. Oranges make fabulous fresh juice, putting the store-bought product to shame. San Joaquin County [...]

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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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  • 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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