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Webinars and Programming

The UC Master Gardener volunteers of Contra Costa County are actively involved in bringing you educational programming. We partner with the Contra Costa County Library and other groups located in Contra Costa County to present topics that will help you grow a healthy, thriving and sustainable garden.

Upcoming Webinars!

  • Tuesday, May 18 at 6pm—Container Gardening & Gardening in Small Spaces
  • Tuesday, June 15 at 6pm—Spanish Gardening Webinar—in Español—topic TBD
  • June date TBD at 6pm—Water in the Garden - Taking Control
  • Tuesday, July 20 at 6pm—Seed Saving & Sharing
  • Tuesday, August 17 at 6pm—How to Grow a Successful Winter Garden
  • Tuesday, September 21 at 6pm—Cover Crops
  • Tuesday,October 19 at 6pm—Managing Garden Critters
  • Tuesday, November 16 at 6pm—What to Do About Weeds?

Past Webinars and Short Tips

Visit Our YouTube Channel!

Composting and Vermiculture for Home Gardeners

Turn your garden debris into black gold for a healthier garden! Our UC Master Gardener volunteers, Joie Spinelli and Dr. Dennis Shusterman, show you methods for traditional composting and composting with worms—vermiculture. Learn why compost is an essential soil amendment for your garden.

Dennis Shusterman is a semi-retired physician who spent most of his career practicing occupational and environmental medicine. He is affiliated with UC San Francisco as a faculty member and UC Berkeley as a practicing physician. His interest in soils and composting grew from his time in Sonoma County as a premed student (and later clinic physician). His skill was honed by his work with CoCoMG’s School Gardens group. Recently he has been exploring compost through the lens of a microscope.

Joie Spinelli, UC Master Gardener volunteer since 2016, RecycleSmart Compost trained, Lead for compost efforts at CoCoMG Demonstration Garden in Walnut Creek, and home gardener. Raised in the Bay Area, he worked summers in Gridley at his family’s peach, olive and walnut orchard all through college. Worked with organic garden co-ops in Tahoe-Truckee area throughout the 1970s, as well as raising milking goats for six years. He has worked and trained with Steve Andrews, UC soil scientist and natural resources educator, working with different mediums to create compost recipes, evaluating different aeration devices, and testing insulation material to maintain ambient temperatures throughout the seasons. He believes composting is the basis and key component in soil health.

Planting a Landscape Tree, with Denece Dodson and Sheila Weston

So, you want to plant a tree? Selecting the right tree for the right place can provide decades of pleasure. But selecting the wrong tree could yield years of regret.

Making the right decision and exploring options is as easy as following a few key steps. UC Master Gardener volunteers Denece Dodson and Sheila Weston will walk you through all of the important considerations and fundamentals of growing not only a vibrant, healthy tree, but the right tree for the right place. This was a webinar presented on March 16, 2021, and Co-hosted with Contra Costa Library

Growing Potatoes at Home

UC Master Gardener volunteer Andrea guides you through planting potatoes. Detailed but concise!

Cloning Garden Plants, with Holly Sauer; co-hosted with Contra Costa County Library

Holly Sauer introduces how you can propagate garden plants. You will learn how to clone plants from a single parent plant using vegetative processes such as cuttings, division and separation, and layering. You will learn how to identify which types of plants to propagate, the times of year that work best, the tools and planting supplies you need, and propagation steps. Holly covers perennials, softwood, semi-hardwood, hardwood, specialized stems and roots (such as bulbs) and succulents.

A native East Bay California native, Holly Sauer has been a Master Gardener volunteer in Contra Costa County since 2015. Holly enjoys  sharing her knowledge and excitement about gardening with other eager gardeners. After retiring from AT&T in 2009, Holly spends more time in her garden with a focus on ornamental plants and redesigning her home garden. Propagation is her current focus with the purpose of expanding the lushness and flowers of her garden.

How to Grow Sweet Potatoes

Join Monika Witte as she describes how to grow sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are delicious and very easy to grow. But they are generally unavailable as 6-pack or 4-inch transplants at nurseries. Learn how easy it is to propagate them yourself in this short video.

Soil in Your Home Garden

Join Mike Corby and John Fike to learn about the soil in your garden—and the teeming universe under your feet. The life in that soil is essential to the health of your plants. Mike and John debunk some commonly held beliefs about soil care, and share their knowledge of soil fundamentals and ways to build soil health. Experience a more successful garden by knowing how to properly care for your soil.

Asian Citrus Psyllid: The Threat to California's Plants

UC Master Gardener volunteer Robyn Barker gives us valuable and important information about the Asian Citrus Psyllid, which is a looming threat to citrus and other host plants in California gardens.

How to Grow a Successful Winter Garden

With UC Master Gardener Terry Lippert (Oct 19, 2020; co-hosted by the Contra Costa County Library).

Mediterranean Climate and Plants: Plant Adaptations to Mediterranean Climate

With Dawn Kooyumjian, program coordinator for UC Master Gardener Program of both Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. Captions. (Aug 31, 2020)

Good Bug, Bad Bug

Join John Fike, UC Master Gardener, as he guides you into realm of the fascinating insects that live in your garden's leaves, soil and in the air around us. (Sep 21, 2020; co-hosted by the Contra Costa County Library)

What Went Wrong in Your Summer Garden?

With UC Master Gardener Monika Witte, who will cover common summer-time vegetable growing problems and how to fix them. (Aug 17, 2020; co-hosted by the Contra Costa County Library)

Seasonal Vegetable Gardening

UC Master Gardener Marian Woodard guides you through growing vegetables throughout the year in the SF Bay Area. (Jul 20, 2020; co-hosted by the Contra Costa County Library)