UC Master Gardeners of Monterey
and Santa Cruz Counties
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Dear Gardening Friends: Welcome to our newsletter, with tips for local home gardeners. While we are not offering in-person classes, we hope you find this informative and helpful. Please note that our online pop-up plant store will be re-opening soon in time for fall planting!

Statement from Our Board
What to Do in the Garden
Wildfires and the Garden

Fall Pop-Up Plant Sale | Online
Coming Soon!


Thank you for being a part of our gardening community.

In the Garden

Statement from Our Board

Dear Friends of the UC Master Gardeners of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, 
Considering the numerous wildfires in our local community over the past few weeks, amidst the ongoing pandemic, we sincerely hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. 
The past six months have been an incredibly challenging time for our community, and like most organizations, the UC Master Gardeners of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties had to adapt to a new reality.

We were forced to change how we interface with the home gardener and with each other. We cancelled our Smart Gardening Fair and our Garden Tour, both popular events where we raise funds and educate home gardeners. Mid-March found us in the middle of the 2020 UC Master Gardener training program and we had to convert their training to an online platform. The good news is we have 34 newly certified UC Master Gardeners ready to make an impact in our organization and continue our mission to support and serve our home gardening community. 

The other highlight of the year was the resounding success of our “contactless” plant sale this past spring. We have been delighted to support our local gardening community--with some folks gardening for the first time--with plants that would eventually feed their families or adorn their home landscape. We look forward to providing plants again at our Fall Pop-Up Plant Sale to begin in a few weeks. (Look for the announcement for details.)
During the Shelter-in-Place, many people in our community discovered something UC Master Gardeners have known for a long time: Gardening can be a source of solace and spending time in your garden can be a restorative, wholesome and healthy family activity. 
We are here for you! While we may not be able to provide gardening information and expertise in person, our hotline is active and a great way to get your gardening questions answered. We have gardening info on our website and in the Resources section (below) in this newsletter. We also plan to pivot our public education to an online platform, so stay tuned. 
Thank you for your understanding and continued support. We are committed to the safety and well-being of our community and volunteers. In the meantime, we wish you much success and pleasure in your garden. 
UC Master Gardeners of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties Board of Directors
Jan Fedor, President
Linda Kennedy, Vice-President
Rita Bell, Treasurer
Barbara Davidge, Secretary
Grey Zimmerman, Director
persian cucumbers | photo credit: joy agcongay

What to Do in the Garden

  • September and October are great months to plant out the fall vegetable garden. Take advantage of our long growing season to enjoy another round of crops such as  cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, spinach, choi.
  • Lettuces and other greens can be continually planted through the winter.

Wildfires and the Garden

Our hearts go out to those who were directly affected by the recent spate of wildfires. While most are aware of the concept of defensible space around the home, here are a few resources around the topic of wildfire consideration when gardening:
Although we have seen quite a bit of ash fall over the past couple of weeks, leafy greens and other veg should be safe to eat after being washed, according to this citizen science project conducted in Sonoma County after fire tore through the community in 2017.

This thoughtful piece, Fire Wise and Garden Smart, by a UC Master Gardener in Napa County living in a Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), outlines changes she is making to her garden after considering wildfire risks to her home. One change is reconsidering drought-tolerant plants near her home, as they become woody in the summer, contributing to higher fire risk.

Wildfire and gardening-related resources:

Upcoming Events

Jude Menconi working in the shadehouse | Photo credit: Barbara Davidge

Fall Pop-Up Plant Sale - Online

Coming Soon!

We're happy to announce the re-opening our online pop-up plant store in a few weeks, in time for your fall garden. Our propagation team has been (safely) working on a variety of vegetables, ornamentals and California native plants for your garden. 

Look for an announcement with details, coming soon!

Photo: UC Master Gardener Jude Menconi at our Salinas shade house | Photo credit: UC Master Gardener Barbara Davidge

Gardening Resources

Do you have home gardening questions? Ask us through our hotline where you'll receive Advice to Grow By!

Planting Schedules
Santa Cruz County (PDF)
Monterey County (PDF)

Growing Vegetables: California Garden Web Guide to Growing Vegetables
Plant Diseases for Common Vegetables: Plant Diseases for Vegetables and Melons
Growing Berries: Growing Berries in Your Backyard

Class Resources
Our collection of class resources is always available, featuring presentations and handouts from our live (past) classes, including Edible Landscaping, Backyard Composting, Landscaping with California Native Plants, Seed Starting, Raising Chickens, Container Gardening and more.

Quail (c) Maria Gaura
Copyright 2020 UC Master Gardeners of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties

Our all-volunteer organization offers no-cost & low-cost research-based gardening and landscaping advice to the home gardeners in our beautiful Central Coast region. For more information on classes, resources, and advice, please visit our website.
Copyright © 2020 UC Master Gardeners of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, All rights reserved.

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