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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
See the Spring Garden Market web page for all the details: directions, prices, what we're selling, exhibit tables and a schedule of educational talks.

NEW! Click here for the list of edibles, natives and pollinator plants

While you're in the neighborhood, 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.

 

Plant for Pollinators

Photo by Ankith Choudhary via Unsplash.com
Photo by Ankith Choudhary via Unsplash.com
Pollinators like bees, butterflies, moths, and birds play an important role in pollinating your vegetable garden and supporting a healthy ecosystem. However, habitat loss, disease, and pesticide use have contributed to the decline of these species. You can help pollinators by selecting a wide variety of flowering plants, guiding pollinators to your garden by planting in groups rather than single plants, and providing a source of clean water.  For a list of pollinator-friendly plants, visit: Pollinators Are Unsung Heroes of Planet Earth. You can get pollinator plants -- both native and non-native -- at the Spring Garden Market on April 13th.

Got Rodents? How To Be Pest Free Without Poison

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten via Unsplash.com
Photo by Joshua J. Cotten via Unsplash.com
Are unwanted rats, mice, gophers or voles wreaking havoc in your garden? Although using toxic baits is convenient, their impact poses a threat to non-targeted wildlife, pets, and even humans in case of accidental ingestion.  Visit this article to learn about humane and safer alternatives to manage these garden pests.

Weeds: Pros and Cons

Photo by Jack Kelly Clark via https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=25800
Photo by Jack Kelly Clark via https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=25800
The simplest definition of a weed is “a plant growing where it’s not wanted.” Most home gardeners prefer to not have weeds growing among their landscape plants and in their vegetable gardens. However, weeds do have many benefits. For instance, they can help to control soil erosion, provide food for birds and nectar for honey bees, and create habitat. Some weeds are even edible. On the downside, weeds compete with landscape plants for water, nutrients and sunlight, and can be invasive.

The best ways to manage weeds that you don’t want growing in a particular location include hand-pulling, cutting or shallow hoeing. Use mulch to suppress weed growth. For more information, see Weeds in Landscape.

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.

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.)...