UC Master Gardener Program of Monterey Bay
University of California
UC Master Gardener Program of Monterey Bay

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Looking for gardening advice?  Have a pest problem?  Wondering which plants are drought resistant?  You’ve come to the right place!  Follow the menus to helpful information about gardening in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties. Ahora también tenemos recursos en español.

What's New

  • The Hitchhiker

    Added August 4, 2015
    A lady beetle picks up a hitchhiker, an oleander aphid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

    Oleander aphids, those cartoonish-looking yellow insects with black legs and cornicles, are commonly found on oleanders. Hence their name. But they also are partial to milkweeds, the host plant of the monarch butterfly. It's a daily challenge to rid...

  • Butterfly Ballet

    Added August 3, 2015
    A Western tiger swallowtail nectarine on a butterfly bush. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

    If you plant it, they will come. Western tiger swallowtails (Papilio rutulus) can't get enough of our butterfly bush. For the first time ever, we saw two of them and managed to get both in the same image. Courtship? Curiosity? Chance...

  • Flies in the Summer

    Added August 3, 2015
    Adult house flies

    Summer is in full gear and along with warm weather comes the abundance of some seasonal insect pests such as flies. Of the thousands of fly species, only a few are pests in and around the home, the most common one being the house fly. Flies can carry...

  • Got to Kill to Live

    Added July 31, 2015
    A camouflaged praying mantis dining on a bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

    Some folks dislike photos of praying mantids snagging, killing and eating their prey. Well, often the "eating" part comes before the "killing" part. Still, they have to kill to live. We all do.  Or someone does it for us. We've been seeing...

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Master Gardener Public Events

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Visit The Plant Doctor

Watering Conservation Tips

1. Check Soil Moisture First. If soil is dry 1-2 inches below surface it's time to water.

2. Water Deeply. Encourage deep roots that require less frequent watering.

3. Get Up Early. Calm, cool morning air results in less evaporation loss.

4. Trash the Sprinkler. Area sprinklers are vicious water wasters and encourage disease.

5. Buy the Right Equipment. Use a squeeze handle watering wand with variable spray options.

6. Go Old-School. Watering cans effectively target individual plants.

7. Turn Off the Faucet. Use recycled water from sinks and showers for some of your watering.

Excerpted from Bill Strubbe
Urban Farm Online, June, 2015

Webmaster Email: tmheitzman@ucanr.edu