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Winter 2023

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Oh my! What a start for 2023! We surely needed the rain, but these atmospheric river storms have been dumping more rain and snow then we were prepared for. Hopefully relief comes soon for many that are being affected by such extreme weather conditions.

Whether the large new snowpack in the mountains and our replenished water reservoirs will help us out of a drought this year remains to be seen. What is certain however is that each and every effort in fighting climate change counts and the UC Master Gardeners of Contra Costa County are here to help you achieve positive results using more sustainable garden practices.

Therefore, we carefully selected articles that can help restore a healthy ecosystem: planting California natives, helping create urban forests, being smart about irrigation and above all, remaining safe while doing what you love to do: garden!

Happy Reading!

Hedwig Van den Broeck & Robin Mitchell, editors

Winter 2023
  • Now Is the Time to Plant Natives in Your Garden!
    Now Is the Time to Plant Natives in Your Garden!

    With the start of the rains in the Bay Area (thank goodness), this is a good time to incorporate native plants into your garden. 

    There are so many possibilities between California native annuals and perennials. Here are some ideas about how to get started!


  • The Benefits of Urban Trees and Why the Best Time to Plant One is Today
    The Benefits of Urban Trees and Why the Best Time to Plant One is Today

    Don’t you feel like something is missing when you stroll or drive through a city street without trees? And when you do take a tree-lined street, doesn’t your journey seem much shorter and more enjoyable? When trees are around, we are much more likely to go outside. And even if we are unable to go outside, just looking out onto a green, tree-lined street makes us feel good. It makes us happier and healthier.


  • Smart Controllers for the Win! Choose Which One is Best for You
    Smart Controllers for the Win! Choose Which One is Best for You

    Smart irrigation controllers are the intelligent choice for our gardens. They automatically adjust the irrigation schedule daily, based on changes in the weather. They’re like a thermostat for your landscape. And how great is it that our water providers are literally paying us to use them?


  • Growing Citrus in Pots
    Growing Citrus in Pots

    Are you shocked at the prices of oranges and lemons at the grocery store? Do you know that you can grow your own oranges and lemons in a patio container for just the cost of water, fertilizer, and time? Citrus trees are an attractive and rewarding addition to any patio garden. Most dwarf varieties grow well in containers and produce great quality fruit in winter months when other fruit sources are dormant. And the brightly colored orbs hang like holiday ornaments on a leafy green backdrop.


  • Are You Safe in your Garden?
    Are You Safe in your Garden?

    Safe practices in the garden have always been a key focus of the UC Master Gardener Program. Preventing serious injuries to our volunteers involves many hours of training, tool sharpening, and using equipment properly.
    No one in our program knows more about safety issues than experienced Master Gardener, Joie Spinelli.


  • Winter Tasks. Time to Bundle Up!
    Winter Tasks. Time to Bundle Up!

    There are plenty of winter tasks This Season in the Garden and our Helpdesk regularly writes very timely blog posts which you can also access via our website.

    Just in! from UCANR Statewide: How to Care for Flood and Water-Damaged Plants.

    While sheltering from severe weather, check out our YouTube Channel ! It is a treasure trove of 36 great presentations we’ve given over the past couple of years, just waiting for you to enjoy!


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