placer county master gardeners

Choosing Christmas plants that will survive outdoors in foothill winters

Question: Some of my friends are gardeners and I want to give them live holiday plants for Christmas. Can you tell me which traditional Christmas plants can be later planted outsid ...

You can have olive trees without the fruit

Question: My family enjoys our olive trees for the graceful beauty they bring to our property (curb appeal) but the olives are a nuisance. How can I stop the trees from bearing fru ...

Want cleaner air? Get some houseplants

Question: I am concerned about the air quality within our home, especially in the winter when windows are not left open. A friend advises that houseplants could help purify the ind ...

Know how to recognize black widow spiders

Question: How do I know if I have black widow spiders in my garden? Answer: The western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus) — a native species — is quite common ...

Managing ants key to controlling aphids in crape myrtles

Question: What is the best way to get rid of aphids in 30-foot crape myrtles? I tried using a power washer to hit the upper branches and knock them off the leaves — but that ...

Master Gardeners' calendar discusses ways to garden in the drought

The Placer County Master Gardeners’ calendar for 2015 is putting California’s drought front and center. Under the theme “California Dreaming  … Beau ...

Plant now for fall and winter greens

Even before the bushels of tomatoes, zucchini and peppers start to wane, it’s time for fall planting. It’s a natural progression for Master Gardener Laurie Meyerpeter ...

Ask the Master Gardener: Mistletoe diverts vital water from trees during drought

Question: I have mistletoe growing in my oak tree. How do I get rid of it? Answer: Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that absorbs both water and nutrients from its host plant. It is ...

Early leaf drop a symptom of drought’s impact

Question:  My neighborhood has many trees, most of which I think are native oaks. I am writing because the trees around here look brown and the ground everywhere is covered wi ...

Ask the master gardener: Ridding the home of carpet beetle infestation

Question: I’m finding small fuzzy bugs in my living room near the window. They are tiny and dark with a tan band around the middle. Each day I clean them up and the following ...