Elaine Applebaum

Ask the Master Gardener: For gardening success, prepare the soil first

Question: How can I prepare an area for my summer vegetable garden? Answer: The first thing you want to do is remove any weeds, preferably before they go to seed so that you?ll ha ...

Workshops reflect shades of green

It’s actually easy being green. A workshop series at the Placer Nature Center makes it even easier with sessions on pruning, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds, composting ...

Ask the Master Gardener: Light exposure is major factor for poinsettia rebloom

Question: Can I keep a poinsettia and have it rebloom next year? Answer: While it is possible to get a poinsettia to rebloom in time for Christmas, you may decide it is just not w ...

Ask the Master Gardener: Stake trees only when necessary

Question: I just planted a new tree and want to know the best way to stake it. Answer: It’s important to know that not all newly planted trees need to be staked. In fact, improp ...

Ask the Master Gardeners: Plant cover crops to improve the soil

Question: I’ve heard people talk about growing a “cover crop” but don’t understand what they mean. Can you explain? Answer: Unlike crops that we grow to eat, cover crops ...

Ask the Master Gardeners: Prune apricot trees before rainy season to avoid fungal infection

Question: Whole branches of my apricot tree have suddenly wilted and appear to be dying. They are getting the same amount of water I’ve always given them and there doesn’t appe ...

Ask the Master Gardeners: Attract ‘good bugs’ for healthier plants

By Elaine Applebaum Placer County Master Gardener Question: Is there anything I can do to increase the number of ladybugs, praying mantids and other “good bugs” in my yard? ...

Ask the Placer County Master Gardeners: Choose plants that are in your zone

Question: Catalogs and some nurseries list “zones” in their description of plants. What are they talking about? Answer: Athletes strive to be “in the zone” and Caltrans as ...

Ask the Master Gardeners: Soil preparation is first step for vegetable garden

Question: How can I prepare an area for my summer vegetable garden? Answer: The first thing you want to do is remove any weeds, preferably before they go to seed so that you’ll ...

Ask the Master Gardeners: Don’t prune apricot trees in winter

Question: Is it true you're not supposed to prune apricot trees during the dormant season? If so, why, and when should I prune? Answer: Apricot trees should not be pruned in the ...

Storms may curb pruning

With the storm door open again in the foothills, the window of opportunity for backyard tree pruners and garden planters has apparently closed this weekend. The National Weather S ...

Winter dormancy is best time to prune fruit trees

Question: I recently moved to a house with fruit trees. How do I prune them? Answer: Most fruit trees should have their heavy pruning during their dormant period, which in our are ...

Ask the Master Gardeners: Cover crops build soil structure and improve drainage

Question.: I’ve heard people talk about growing a “cover crop” but don’t understand what they mean. Can you explain? Answer: Unlike crops that we grow to eat, cover crops ...

Ask the Master Gardeners: Dealing with thrips

Q: I have a lot of nectarines on my tree this year but most have ugly brown and yellow scabby-looking scars on them. They’re also much smaller than the ones in the grocery store. ...

Ask the Master Gardeners: Red spots on oak leaves could be mites, gall wasps

Question: The leaves of my oak tree have red spots on them. Is this a problem? Answer: The spots are most likely caused by erineum mites or gall wasps. Both cause only cosmetic d ...