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Webinar What Went Wrong in your Summer Garden.08.17.20

Register begins Monday August 3rd for this webinar.  To receive your Zoom link  to register click here:
Contra Costa County's Master Gardeners and County Librarians join together to bring "What Went Wrong in Your Summer Garden". Coming Monday, August 17 — 6:30pm - 7:45pm
Join UC Master Gardener Monika Witte as she covers common vegetable growing problems and how to correct them. You will learn what causes tomatoes to crack, why zucchinis sometimes shrivel and die, why broccoli and cauliflower sometimes produce only tiny heads, why onions often produce flowers and fail to develop good bulbs, and more. You will hear about solutions to these and other vegetable crop problems and also receive suggestions for what vegetables to plant for the most reliably good results. 
Contra Costa County’s Master Gardener Monika Witte is a retired engineer from Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Since becoming a Master Gardener in 2017, Monika has volunteered at Our Garden, the demonstration garden in Walnut Creek, and answers questions from the public at the UC Master Gardener Program Help Desk. She is currently the lead for the Growing Gardeners Program in our county. Monika is also passionate about STEM education and has volunteered teaching math at Oak Grove Middle School in MDUSD since 2015.



Image shows grapes on left, the #BigDigDay icon in center, and heirloom tomatoes on left.

June 5, 2020, was our first #BigDigDay campaign! We set ourselves a goal of $5,000—and you, our wonderful supporters, helped us to top it off! Thank you so much. With the cancellation of our biggest fundraiser, the Great Tomato Plant sales, we are deeply appreciative of your gifts. We will continue to offer our science-based information to guide you in your gardening adventures. Stay tuned!

(If you missed the campaign, but still want to donate, here's our Donations page.)


Due to the current COVID-19 shelter-in-place, our plant sales, talks, and Ask-a-Master Gardener tables at Farmers Markets are all canceled through July 30, 2020.  As our plans evolve, we will post updates here and on our calendar


It's official...with a tip of the hat to Antioch's historic Rivertown District, our East County demonstration garden, formerly named Mangini Garden, is now called Rivertown Demonstration Garden.


Advice to Grow By...Ask Us!
UC Master Gardener advice and problem diagnosis services are available year-round!  For problem diagnosis and answers to your gardening questions, contact our Help Desk.  The Help Desk is open 50 weeks of the year, Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 am to Noon (closed winter holidays). 3/17/20: Due to the current COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place, our Master Gardeners are working remotely—

In your request—
  • Include your name, phone number and city (plant advice depends on local conditions!).
  • Describe the problem in detail. Include the name of the plant if known, when the problem began, and cultivation history such as watering, fertilizing, pruning, pesticides, etc. 
  • Send photographs, if applicable. Photographs help!

Our gardening blog, HOrT COCO, talks about seasonal hot topics, frequently-asked questions, and truly unique or peculiar requests for help. Subscribe here.


Keep conserving water, no matter what. 
Remember that water conservation continues to be vital to California's long-term health and resilience. Learn about water resources in California. Also check our Drought Tips, as well as read our HOrT COCO blog on Smart Controllers. Want a quick and easy fix? Many of us have areas of lawn that serve no particular purpose. Sheet mulch your lawn to save water, and improve your soil at the same time. 

Speaking of soil...visit the United Nations' FAO Soil Portal for in-depth scientific soil research and international policy to enhance soil health. Most Contra Costa soils contain plenty of the nutrients plants need. Keep your soil healthy to cut back drastically on landscape fertilizing. Less fertilizing means less watering (and more money in your pocket)!


UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County
2380 Bisso Lane, Suite B, Concord, CA 94520
(925) 608-6683 (email only during Shelter-in-Place), ccmg@ucanr.edu  

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From Frank McPherson, Bay Area County UCCE Director

UC Master Gardeners are University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) trained volunteers. They are residents of our community that give back all year to provide UCCE researched-based horticultural information to individuals in their communities and throughout the state.

They give talks and demonstrations, conduct plant clinics, staff phone help lines, provide training at community gardens, support school garden programs, staff information tables at Farmers’ Markets, fairs, and nurseries, and much more.

If you would like to support our efforts, donate now. Thank you!


We're the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County!



Contra Costa Master Gardeners Donate Our Plants to the Community

So many plants from what would have been our Great Tomato Plant Sale found homes throughout the East Bay area. We donated plants to 48 community, church and school gardens in Contra Costa, as well as to Oakland Unified School District.

We're on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too!