UC Master Gardeners of Monterey
and Santa Cruz Counties
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Dear Gardening Friends: Welcome to our newsletter, where we usually feature our hands-on classes designed for local home gardeners.
However, all in-person classes are canceled through April 30.
In lieu of classes, we're sharing information and resources we hope you find informative and helpful.

In the Garden

pansy and alyssum

What to Do in the Garden

It's officially Spring! Most of us are sheltering in place, with many interested in growing food. While many plants can be put in the ground, read this first as seasonal temperatures vary in April, affecting which crops are better planted in warmer weather. Includes links to the planting guide from the UC Master Gardener Handbook.
  • Call ahead: Nurseries are essential businesses, though particular nurseries may be closed, or have adjusted their business hours. Many are offering curbside pick up.
  • Leafy greens: If you can, choose a cooler spot in your garden to grow lettuce, chard, and spinach. Look for bolt-resistant varieties for the warmer days ahead. Lettuce is a good crop for children to grow! .
  • Roots: Plant radishes, beets, and potatoes. Because radishes mature in only a few weeks, they are a great crop for children to grow.
  • Add plants to attract beneficial insects and pollinators to your garden
  • Dahlia tubers are available and should be planted now.
  • Visit your garden regularly to keep on top of weeds, pest infestations or disease problems.
Napa (Chinese) cabbage

Food Gardening 101

If you're interested in growing your own food, a helpful resource is the California Garden Web guide to growing vegetables.

This site is beginner-friendly, including how to plan and prepare your vegetable garden. For seasoned gardeners, it also offers a "how do you grow..." section for specific vegetables.

If you want to grow vegetables but have limited space, consider growing vegetables in containers! Download our container gardening class presentation, which covers all the basics of growing plants in pots. Look for plants and seeds specifically bred for pots and containers.
raised bed - leafy greens

Crop Rotation Basics

When planning your vegetable garden, incorporate crop rotation, where you change the location of plant families each year. This practice helps reduce vegetable-specific diseases and pests. Here is more information about crop rotation.

Tip: Keeping a garden journal of what you've planted can help you plan next year's garden.
Champion tomatoes

Hold the Tomatoes!

Have you seen tomatoes available at the nursery? Before purchasing tomatoes, consider varieties that will thrive in your particular microclimate, choose a sunny location and pay attention to seasonal temperatures. Read one of our past blog posts about choosing the right plants with the right seasonal temperatures.

Additional Resources

We invite you to check out our complete collection of class resources from past classes, including seed starting, raising chickens and more.

We host an active Facebook page where we post timely, instructional and useful gardening videos and information.

Finally, we have a Gardening Hotline if you have specific gardening questions. 

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

Our all-volunteer organization offers low-cost gardening and landscaping advice to 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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