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HOrT COCO: UC Master Gardener Program-Contra Costa-Blog

  • family bed 450
    Creating a Family Garden Bed

    Most of us in urban and suburban areas don't have enough room for a large edible garden. Our space is limited for growing vegetables, so we need to try different techniques to maximize our...

  • Bermuda Buttercup

    Bermuda buttercup (Oxalis pes-caprae) has become a tenacious and frustrating weed throughout California. From November through April, bright yellow flowers on leafless stalks and green shamrock-like...

  • First to appear are cotyledon leaves, then the first true leaves
    Indoor Seed Starting

    Many of us have seed catalogs arriving in the mail this month, so now is the time to start thinking about your summer garden. We are publishing this article again because starting plants from seed is...

  • Before and After - Courtesy of Sarah Hoyer
    Do I Really Need to Prune My Roses?

    The answer is YES! And it is easy! If you prune, your rose flower bushes will• Be larger • Have more flowers• Will be more balanced and fuller • And the health of your plant...

  • Photo courtesy of Anne Sutherland
    Leave Those Roots!

    At the end of the gardening season, there is an instinct to uproot spent plants and clear the soil for a fresh start, whether it be for a cover crop, a winter vegetable crop, or next year's summer...

  • Butterhead 'Salanova'
    Growing Lettuce

    Lettuce may not be a garden crop that causes you to perk up and say, “Tell me more.” You may be thinking, “Boring, I'll pass.” Or you may be the gardener who says, “I...

  • Peach leaf curl symptoms
    Is it Time to Use Dormant Sprays on Your Backyard Fruit Trees?

    This year was particularly bad for peach leaf curl and other fungal infections in fruit trees because of the wonderful rain we had last winter and spring. It looks like we might have another wet...

  • Covered tomato plant courtesy of Ruth McGee
    Bundle Up! Winter's Coming! - Preparing for Frosty Temperatures

    Note: We are running this previously published article because it's important to be ready to protect sensitive plants. Don't get taken by surprise! It's time to get ready for cold winter...

  • Monstrous Tomato Courtesy of Sara Hoyer
    Monsters and Mutants in Our Gardens

    Halloween creeping up on you? Well, the UC Master Gardeners have got some boo for you! Mother nature seems to enjoy providing us with ‘deviant' forms of plants that are strangely shaped and,...

  • California fuchsia (Epilobium spp.)
    Fall is Planting Time

    The Mediterranean climate of Contra Costa County has us spoiled for choices in growing handsome perennials and shrubs, including many native plants that attract local beneficial insects and nourish...