For Immediate Release
Pleasant Hill, CA (March 23, 2017): Only a handful of days remain until our annual county-wide Great Tomato Plant Sale, starting April 1. The tomato seedlings have been putting on weight and growing stronger for our upcoming Sales. To help them, we’ve got UC Master Gardener Intensive Care Units at all our Sale sites throughout the county—Richmond, Antioch and Walnut Creek—who come in daily to care for the seedlings. In the mornings, they remove the plastic nursery poly that protects the plants from cold night time temperatures and water them if necessary. Uncovering the plants exposes them to the wind, sun and open air, letting them grow stronger stems than if they were kept covered. Late in the day, our teams return to replace the plastic nursery cloth over the hoops. Visit the main Great Tomato Plant Sale page for comprehensive descriptive lists of what's for sale, and see some "best of the best" featured varieties on our Hot Master Gardeners Picks page.
Advice to Grow By...Ask Us!
The spring season is upon us! From mid-March through October we'll be staffing Ask a Master Gardener tables all around the county where you can get free gardening help from UC Master Gardeners right on the spot. Check here for lots of upcoming events. And, anytime you need help, don't forget that UC Master Gardener advice services are available nearly all year long! For problem diagnosis and answers to your gardening questions, just contact our Help Desk. The Help Desk is open 50 weeks of the year, Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 am to Noon. You can walk in, call, or email us for help. Our mission is to extend our knowledge to YOU.
Check out our fruit & nut selection guide that you can use to help plan a new or upgraded home orchard. Also check out our blog, HOrT COCO, with lots of the most typical Help Desk questions and answers. Like what you see? Subscribe here.
Would you or your organization like to start a community garden? We now offer consulting services for such efforts. Please visit our new Community Gardens page for details.
Keep conserving water...no matter what. While we're thrilled with all the winter rain these past few months, and even though sometimes it's been overwhelming, remember that water conservation continues to be vital to California's long-term health and resilience. An August 2016 law, SB-814, was adopted that requires urban water districts to define excessive water use and impose restrictions/penalties during the inevitable drought emergencies. Meanwhile, the State Water Resources Control Board's emergency conservation regulation requiring locally developed conservation standards remains in effect until February 28, 2017. Read more...
For water conservation tips, check out our Drought Tips page, as well as a HOrT COCO Blog entry on Smart Controllers. Want a quick and easy fix? Many of us have areas of lawn that serve no particular purpose. Try sheet mulching unused turf to save water and improve your soil at the same time.
Speaking of soil...did you know... 2015 was the International Year of Soils! Visit http://www.fao.org/soils-2015/en/ for more information. Most Contra Costa soils contain plenty of the nutrients plants need. Keeping your soil healthy will let you cut back drastically on landscape fertilizing. Less fertilizing means less watering (and more money in your pocket)!
After 30 years, we've changed the official name of our organization to UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County, emphasizing our relationship to the University of California. But, only the name is changing...our contact information and all our services remain just the same.
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Spotlight on Our Garden
The Story of Our Garden.
Our Garden is a focal point for UC Master Gardener educational activities, an ongoing collaborative edible garden managed by dedicated volunteers and supported by generous sponsors. Short demonstrations and classes taught every Wednesday from April through October offer the public a free and open venue for up close and personal learning about the process of growing one's own food. Special events supplement this outreach. Food produced by Our Garden is donated to local charitable organizations.
Where We Are Right Now
6th Annual Great Tomato Plant Sale-3 locations starting 4/1/2017
Date: April 1, 2017
|6th Annual Great Tomato Plant Sale-3 locations starting 4/1/2017||4/1/2017|
|Walnut Creek / Sixth Annual Great Tomato Plant Sale||4/1/2017|
|Moraga Farmers' Market||4/2/2017|
|Kensington Farmers' Market||4/2/2017|
|Concord Farmers' Market||4/4/2017|