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

  • It Suits Them to a 'T'

    Added July 29, 2015
    Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) on Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

    It suits them to a "T." And the "T" is for Tithonia. Many species of butterflies frequent our Tithonia, also known as Mexican sunflower. Like its name implies, it's a member of the sunflower family, Asteraceae. On any given Sunday--not to...

  • Wildfires are unpredictable, but preparation can help protect homes and animals

    Added July 29, 2015
    Flames and smoke fill the sky behind a Southern California subdivision.

    Four years of drought has left California with acres of dry brush and dying trees, abundant fuel for wildfires. Currently, CalFIRE's fire map shows several major fires burning in California. “There are two factors that help fires spread - winds...

  • Meet Me at the Fair!

    Added July 28, 2015
    McCormack Hall assistant superintendent Sharon Payne of Vallejo, a past president of the Solano County 4-H Leaders' Council, stands next to youth photography featuring insects. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

    County fairs are filled with fun, food and festivities. They're meant to educate, inform and entertain. What we've always loved about the county fairs: the incredible exhibits. Especially exhibits dealing with photographs and paintings of insects. When...

  • There Is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch

    Added July 27, 2015
    A freeloader fly dines on a bee freshly killed by a garden spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

    There is such a thing as a free lunch. And a free breakfast. And a free dinner. And a free snack. That is, if you're a freeloader fly. If you've ever watched a spider snare a bee or other insect in its web, and wrap it like a fit-to-be-tied...

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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