placer county master gardeners

Ask the Master Gardener: Control fire blight as soon as it appears

Question: My Aristocrat pear tree’s leaves started to turn black in May, as did the branches that held them. And many blooms also looked burned.  What is wrong and how d ...

Ask the Master Gardener: Rototilling does more harm than good in the garden

Question:  I always rototill the ground every spring before I plant my vegetable garden — and almost always have great results. Of course, I always plow in fully aged ma ...

Ask the Master Gardener: Learn to recognize the forms of poison oak

Question: I’ve been told that poison oak is not always three shiny leaves with a rust tinge? Is that true?” Answer: Funny you should ask. I personally didn’t th ...

Ask the Master Gardener: Think beyond cacti, succulents for landscaping plants that use less water

Question: I don’t care for cacti and succulents. What other landscape plants use little water? Answer: Actually many plants other than those usual suspects have adapted to ...

Ask the Master Gardener: Identifying Asian Citrus Psyllid damage to trees

Question: In an earlier Ask the Master Gardener column it was reported that a citrus quarantine was now in effect in Santa Clara County. That’s pretty close to us. When was t ...

Preserve local citrus by doing your part to prevent the spread of HLB

Question: I have read that a worldwide disease is destroying citrus trees of all types and there is no cure. What measures are being taken to stop it? Answer: Yes, that bacterial ...

Master Gardeners' planting workshops mark the seasons

Soak up some education while spending quality time outdoors with Placer County master gardeners at free seasonal workshops set for March 21, May 16, July 18 and Sept. 19. Each mo ...

Studies on biochar indicate potentially promising uses as a soil amendment

Question: I am a well-read gardener living in Colfax, writing to ask your opinion of the new hot topic in gardening: biochar.  For years I read that aerated compost tea was go ...

Easing the plight of the monarch butterfly

Question: I read in the news this week that the population of monarch butterflies is 91 percent less than it was two decades ago. What is happening and how can I help? Answer:&nb ...

Ask the Master Gardener: Bleeding sap from cherry tree could be linked to several causes

Question: My well established sour cherry tree is bleeding sap from its bark at several places on the tree. I assume this bleeding must be related to the flower/leaf drop that made ...

Want a vegetable garden that’s less work? Consider planting perennials

Question: I like the idea of growing my own vegetables, but it seems like a lot of work. Are there some that are easier than others? Answer: There is a newfound interest in growi ...

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 ...