Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Fall Open Garden Day at the Learning Landscape

Fall is a great time to get out into the garden and get those summer vegetable beds cleaned up and winter crops planted. It’s the time to plant and prune landscape trees and other perennial plants. It’s the time to get our gardens ready for the winter season.  As Master Gardeners, we are committed to [...]

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Now’s the time to enrich your garden beds with cover crops

The gardening season is winding down, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler. After a busy spring and summer of planting, harvesting, weeding and fighting that endless war on pests, it’s time to take a gardening break, or is it? Allowing your garden to sit fallow during the winter means you [...]

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Seed swapping: a rewarding way to grow your garden

                Fall is an excellent time to harvest and preserve seeds for planting next year. Warm season vegetable crops are winding down their production, and those overripe or dried out squash, melons, tomatoes, eggplants, and more are a fantastic source of seeds for a “repeat performance” next year. [...]

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“Go native” at specialized plant sales

The fall planting season is here! September, October, and November are ideal months to add new water-thrifty plants to home landscapes. Plants native to central California and to parts of the world with a Mediterranean climate are ideally suited to the hot, arid summers and cool, wet winters we experience in San Joaquin County. Some [...]

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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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