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Are you a San Mateo or San Francisco County resident with an interest in science-based horticulture and sustainable gardening practices, and a desire to share your knowledge and skill with the public as a volunteer in your community?

Become a Master Gardener Volunteer

Spring Garden Market: April 13, 2024

Photo by Stuart Dalton
Photo by Stuart Dalton
Stay tuned to hear more about the great plants and educational activities planned for the 2024 Spring Garden Market.

In the meantime, browse this website to get lots of guidance for a bountiful growing season. Sign up for the monthly newsletter and make sure you don't miss any of our fun and informative events.

See the Spring Garden Market web page for details. 

A New Perspective on Slugs

Photo by Jack Kelly Clark
Photo by Jack Kelly Clark
Gardening enthusiasts are well acquainted with the havoc that slugs can wreak on their cherished plants. However, a noteworthy shift in perspective comes from The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the foremost garden charity in Britain, which no longer classifies these creatures as pests. Instead, the RHS highlights the crucial role that slugs play in fostering a diverse and healthy ecosystem.
Click here to learn more.

It's Rose Pruning Time

Rose pruning, photo by Janet Gilmore
January and February are the ideal months for pruning roses, before new growth emerges. Using clean and sharp pruners, remove dead, damaged, diseased and crossing canes, and canes thinner than a pencil. Make clean cuts slightly above a bud that points toward the outside of the plant. The amount of pruning needed will depend on the type of rose. For more on rose pruning, see these videos and these tips.

Plant Bare-Root Fruit and Nut Trees

https://homeorchard.ucanr.edu/Fruits_&_Nuts/Plum_and_Prune/
Winter is a good time to plant bare-root fruit and nut trees. This allows their roots and shoots to develop when the weather is cool. When selecting a tree for your garden, you’ll need to consider both your climate zone (A, B, C) and microclimate conditions (wind, fog, elevation) along with the chill hours required for fruit production. See this article for details: Selecting fruit nut berry tree for SM-SF counties

Landscape Fabric: the Hidden Truth

Landscape fabric, Photo by U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Landscape fabric, Photo by U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Before rolling out landscape fabric to keep weeds at bay, consider the effects on your soil and plants. Landscape or “weed blocking” fabric, usually made of plastic or polyester, has varying degrees of permeability. Over time, holes in the fabric get clogged, preventing the movement of water, oxygen and carbon dioxide between the soil and the air. This starves the microbial life in your soil, which in turn breaks down the nutrient cycling between these organisms and your plants. To learn more, see Landscape Fabric: A Cautionary Tale.

YouTube Channel - Latest Videos

Publications
  • CoastsideFeb2024Cover
    Starting from Scratch: The Miracle of Seeds

    Growing your own plants from seed has a lot of advantages: more variety, less cost and getting a head start on the growing season are just a few. Practicality aside, it's just plain miraculous to grow plants from seeds. The process of putting hard, dry,...

  • Coastside Cover Jan 2024
    A New Year in The Garden: Inspirations for 2024

    It's January and, although it may be cold and damp, the days are getting longer by a few seconds each day—just enough additional daylight to stir a gardener's blood. While plants and soil are taking their winter rest, it's a great time for us...

  • Coastside Cover Dec 2023
    The Rain Garden: A Simply Elegant Solution to Stormwater Pollution

    Last winter's epic rainstorms have caused many of us to think about what we can do to mitigate the impact of heavy downpours on our communities. As it happens, the impervious surfaces that keep us dry and mud-free (our homes, patios, driveways, etc.)...