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Posts from the ‘Gardening Classes’ Category

Silicon Valley Gardeners, prepare for March 31st for a plant shopping extravaganza!

March 31st is going to be an extremely fun day in San Jose because both the Master Gardener’s Spring Market and the CSSSJ’s Plant Sale will be held.  Unfortunately they will be at different locations, but maybe next year they can iron out that detail!  Please pass on this info to any friends whom you think may be interested.  These events happen only annually!

Here are the event details:

Spring Garden Market

A great event to buy heirloom varieties of baby plants, a huge variety of flowers, and herbs.  I will be volunteering at the California Native Garden Foundation booth!  Come by and say hi!

Time open: 9am-2 pm.

Location:

History San José
1650 Senter Road
San José, CA 95112

Cactus and Succulent Plant Sale

I love the Cactus and Succulent Society of San Jose.  What an interesting group of folks!  They are totally obsessed with finding or growing from seed these highly unusual species of cacti and succulents!  They’re such nice people too and always willing to answer questions without being overly technical.  Come to this sale if you are looking for unusual plants…I guarantee you’ll find some.  I’m sure they will have your basic succulents and cacti as well that might be more forgiving to a beginner.  But remember don’t over water the cacti and succulents!

Time open: 9am-5pm.  Also open on April 1st from 10am-4pm.

Location:

Marian A. Peterson Middle School
1380 Rosalia Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

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Kick off the new gardening season with the Master Gardeners’ Spring Garden Market!

If you are in the San Jose area and want to explore an amazing collection of heirlooms…mark your calendars!  The MG’s are knowledgeable and are very helpful with questions about plants, soil quality, watering specs, and light needs.  I personally want to add some Salvias to my collection.  I so far only have the Black and Blue Salvia.  So I’m still on the look out for natives to attract beneficials.  I also want to grow food on the patio this season.  With so many heirloom varieties, I will surely find some mouth watering specimens!

Here is the official event description:

The 18th Annual Spring Garden Market 

See you at the Spring Garden Market!

Saturday, March 31, 2012     9 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

Join us at beautiful History San Jose for our premier plant sale, sustainable gardening showcase and fair (Directions | Parking Map)

Our plant sale features unique heirloom varieties you won’t find elsewhere

Loyal fans have been coming for years for the 75+ varieties of  tomatoes and 100+ varieties of peppers, and now you can pick up beans, eggplant, collards, lettuce and other greens, Chinese broccoli, amaranthus and kohlrabi – and strawberries.

But wait there’s more! We’ve also expanded our offerings to include herbs and flowers.

Itching to start planning the garden?  The descriptions of plants we sold in 2011 are tantalizing! The selections this year are mostly the same but we’ll post soon the updated lists. One special new tomato: the hybrid purple tomato, Indigo Rose, bred for even higher levels of antioxidants.

Master Gardener Sustainable Gardening Showcase

Man with dog at the marketThe Spring Garden Market is a day when you can learn about sustainable vegetable gardening. Master Gardeners abound and are easy to spot in their blue aprons, so bring your questions.

Join us for short and long talks on a wide variety of gardening topics. Chairs are set up and you can pick up snacks or lunch and relax in the shade. Browse the calendar of talks we gave in 2011 for an idea of topics.

  • 40-Minute Talks in the Educational Circle (40 minutes) These in-depth talks include Growing Great Tomatoes and How to Build a Raised Bed.
  • Short Talks all around the Market (10 minutes) Taking care of your new plants. Feeding the soil, composting and mulching. Waterwise gardening with native and Mediterranean-climate plants. How to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and other beneficials to your garden. And more!

Stroll along Master Gardener Lane lined with tables with information and hands-on displays about organic, earth-friendly gardening.

  • Favorite Plants Waterwise and native plants. UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars. Succulents. Cut flowers.
  • Hotline LIVE! and Plant Clinic Drop by with all your gardening questions.
  • Animal Pest Control Got gophers, moles, voles or other critters? Drop by for advice.
  • Tool Care It’s easier than you think to keep your tools sharp and in tip-top condition.
  • And much more … Composting, worm bins,  fertilizing, DIY drip irrigation and everything in between.

We’re asked so often about our favorite tools that we’re bringing our Top Ten Favorites to market. High on the list are the great publications from the University of California.

  • Our Favorite Tools Sale We compiled over 25 years of experience from 330+ Master Gardeners to come up with our top choices of books, tools, gloves and gardening items.
  • UC Gardening Publications Display Oodles of free pamphlets as well as excellent reference books for you to browse. Not on sale at the market: browse the catalog and purchase online from UC with a 10% discount when you use our promotion code PRCLA43.

Green Elephant Sale In a category of its own, our Green Elephant Sale features treasures from our garden sheds and garages to yours – tools, pots, apparel, books, trellises as well as unusual items you can repurpose to use in your garden. Everything but the kitchen sink … although one year we did have a kitchen sink for someone to plant in! The prices can’t be beat and we only put out items in good condition.

Vendor Fair

Booths line both sides of the Main Street in History San Jose. Plant nurseries, gardening societies, urban farmers, beekeepers and conservation groups are found alongside vendors of containers and raised beds, apparel, mosaics and even chicken coops. See the list of vendors for an idea of our colorful “Main Street.”

Amenities

A Plant Daycare can be found right next to the plant sale, where you can leave your purchases securely. There is no charge.

This year six gourmet food trucks will provide coffee, lunch, drinks and snacks.

But perhaps the best amenity is History San Jose itself. Wander the beautiful park and see the historical buildings, beautifully restored, along with their gardens.  In 2011 we created a demonstration garden at the Umbarger House where we’ll be holding some of the gardening talks and giving tours of the new garden. And don’t forget to visit the old-fashioned ice cream shop in the Hotel building!

The Spring Garden Market is sponsored by the Friends of Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County.

“Insects – Let’s Learn to Love Them!”

Today was the first time I attended a gardening class.  Till now, my lessons have been directly from my grandfather or by trial and error.  I’ve got to say that the class was phenomenal!  I learned so much about insects and the benefits of having insects in your garden.  I must say that the class taught by the UCCE Master Gardeners of Santa Clara was of excellent quality.  Their expert knowledge and good experience made them stand out as very reliable sources.

The following slideshow pictures were all taken by renound nature photographer Robert Shimmon
www.bobshimmon.com whom I had the pleasure of meeting today.

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We talked about the balance of nature and how bugs fit in.  Apparently 97% of insects are beneficial.

Two Major Life Cycles

Complete Metamorphosis

Simple Metamorphosis

Egg -> Larva -> Pupa -> Butterfly
  1. Insect hatches from the egg
  2. The insect gets bigger and bigger
  3. Insect might shed its exoskeleton and grow more
Examples:

  • Butterfly
  • Moth
  • Beetles
  • Flies
  • Ants
  • Bees
  • Wasps
Examples:

  • Grasshoppers
  • Aphids (can also give live birth)

It’s very helpful to have gloves and a hand lens on hand while you are examining the insects on your plants.

***Predators and Parasites can take care of insects.

  • Predational stages of lady beetles will eat everything.
  • Black beatles are great predators of slugs and snail eggs.
  • Lace wing adults and larva are voracious feeders of aphids
Parasitism
  • Wasps are tremendously beneficial for controlling insect population.
  • Brown eggs near aphids with holes are parasitized.
How to attract beneficial insects?
***Diversity is really important
Insects eat:
  • Nectar for energy (contain carbs and sugar)
  • Pollen for protein
  • Leaves
Daisy like flowers are “landing pads” for bees
Tubular flowers (ex: Fox Gloves)
Tiny little flowers (ex: Alyssum) for small insects
In order to maintain a supply of beneficial insects all year-long, you must have flowers blooming all year-long.
* Don’t be fastidious.  If leaves are falling down, don’t pic them up right away.  There might be eggs beneath them.
* Tolerate insects “chewing” leaves
When is it a problem?
  • Identify that there’s a problem
  • Monitor your plants to see their normal state
  • Can you deal with the problem with mechanical/physical controls?
  • ex: Smash, squish, hose off with water
Biological Solutions
  • You can buy beneficial insects from your garden center but the insects will most likely fly away!
  • You can put a bag over a particular infested plant and release the beneficial insects to feast in the sealed bag.
  • Bacillus Thorengensis (bacterial solution) have no effect on beneficials.
  • Slug O to get rid of snails (skunks and possums might eat them as well)
  • Tangle Foot
Special Slug Solution Recipe given by our Master Gardener instructor
2 Cups of water
2 Tbs of sugar
2 Tbs of bread baking yeast
Traps
  • Place your terracotta pots upside down
  • All snails will go in because it’s dark and moist
  • You can just throw them away.
Final resort….Insecticides
Make sure to follow the instructions carefully!

UCCE Master Gardeners of Santa Clara Demo Garden

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