Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Summer garden problems explored

Heat and tomato fruit set: The hot streak we had recently was not good for a lot of plants, but in particular not good for fruit set in tomatoes. Tomato blossoms drop off when daytime temperatures exceed 95 and night-time temperatures are above 70. Tomatoes in the sun may experience temperatures as much as 10 [...]

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Garden downsizing— losses lamented; smaller celebrated

One of the things that Master Gardeners and others teach new gardeners is to not bite off too much when starting to garden. With experience one can take on more efforts if you want to. Here is what one family magazine has to say, “Be realistic when you plan your first garden. Start small; you [...]

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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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Giving Water Two Lives

With the departure of winter rains, most of us have had to turn on the sprinklers by now to help plants thrive in our hot, dry summers. However, we can minimize water use in the landscape with practices such as choosing low-water use plants, applying mulch, and efficient irrigation practices. You can also reuse household [...]

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The pros and cons of landscape mulches

Mulches have long been considered an important component of aesthetically pleasing and environmental friendly gardens. However, not all mulches are created equal. The best mulches (when properly applied) can conserve water, suppress weeds, regulate soil temperature, control erosion, and contribute to the health of both plants and soil. Conversely, inferior materials can be harmful and [...]

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Controlling snails and slugs

How many times have you wandered into your garden on a cool weekend morning, only to discover telltale slime trails, holes chewed in the leaves of just-planted ornamentals, or vegetable seedlings chewed to the ground? Or worse yet, walked unsuspectingly down a pathway only to smash a slimy slug or crunch a juicy snail beneath [...]

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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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Ants and Aphids: A Pesky Partnership

Late spring is prime time for one of our “favorite” plant pests: aphids. Temperatures are averaging in the 70s, and plants are still flush with tender, new growth from an unusually wet winter. Turn over a leaf, and you might see itsy-bitsy insects in a variety of colors, from lime green to brown, red or [...]

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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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