UC Master Gardeners of Monterey
and Santa Cruz Counties
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Welcome to our newsletter, featuring practical, hands-on classes designed for local home gardeners.

Winter Pruning: Fruit Trees, Roses & Small Trees and Shrubs 
The Winter Garden: Things to Do

Some class locations have limited seating. We encourage you to register early.
Fruit Trees from the Ground Up | February 1 | Santa Cruz
Basics of Rose Care | February 1 | San Juan Bautista (ALMOST FULL)
Chicks in the City, Hens in the Hood | February 22 | Santa Cruz
Pruning Small Trees | February 23 | Felton
Click here for a complete list of our classes and events

Smart Gardening Fair & Spring Plant Sale | April 4 | Pacific Grove
Garden Tour | June 6 | Santa Cruz

Contact us through our Hotline

In the Garden

Winter Pruning: Fruit Trees, Roses and Small Trees & Shrubs

Knowing how and when to prune properly is critical. This month we offer winter pruning classes with demonstrations for roses, deciduous fruit trees and small trees and shrubs. Read on for additional resources:
Deciduous Fruit Trees Resources
Tempted by the myriad of bare-root deciduous fruit trees available? Research appropriate chill-requirements and varieties for your area and prepare the soil for the best health and production for your new tree. Our Organic Fruit Trees from the Ground Up class includes a planting demonstration, along with pruning and varietal selection and care.

Additional Deciduous Fruit Tree Resources
Chill Calculator
Fruit Tree Pruning for Backyard Orchards
Home Orchard: Growing Your Own Deciduous Fruit and Nut Trees (book) - This best-selling guide, published by the University of California, is specifically written for backyard orchardists, small-scale growers and rare fruit tree growers.
Fruit Trees for Every Garden - Orin Martin, long-time manager of the UC Santa Cruz Chadwick garden has just released a book reflecting his decades of mentoring students and first-hand experience growing a plethora of fruit tree varieties in our zone. A great complement to the Home Orchard book. Particularly helpful for recommendations of appropriate fruit tree varieties for our area.

Rose Care
Like deciduous fruit trees, it's bare-root rose season. Bare root roses are less expensive than the plants you find at the nursery the rest of the year. Check out our Basics of Rose Care class in San Juan Bautista's rose garden. Here is a rose primer for additional information.

Small Trees and Shrubs (ornamental)
While pruning cuts are simple, cultivating a healthy, structurally sound small tree and shrub can be confusing. We are offering a class about pruning small trees and shrubs this month. Here is a pruning excerpt from UC Master Gardener Handbook for an overview of pruning small trees and shrubs.
Watsonville demo garden cool season vegetables

The Winter Garden: Things to Do

With our unpredictable weather, knowing exactly what to do requires Central Coast gardeners to adjust our winter garden expectations as the weather changes. 
  • In addition to winter pruning, cool-season vegetables are still a go, including lettuce, greens, and brassicas/cole crops (like broccoli, cabbage, caulifower). With the lengthening days, your plants will grow faster than those planted a few months ago. Best to start seed indoors or buy transplants for strong growth. Legumes, like peas, can be directly sown.
  • Cool-season annual flowers, like poppies, pansies and calendula, thrive in cooler weather. Because birds can be a problem, sow a generous amount of seed. You can always thin seedlings later!
  • Perennial vegetables: dormant winter plants, such as rhubarb and artichokes are now available. If you are patient, plant asparagus crowns now through early spring. Give them 2-3 years to develop a good root system before picking the spears and they will reward you with a bounty for many years.

Upcoming Classes


Organic Fruit Trees from the Ground Up

9:30 am - 11:30 am

Cost: $5

Common Roots Farm
335 Golf Club Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Learn how to plant, grow and care for bare root fruit trees! Arborist Terence Welch will present an overview of selecting fruit tree varieties and rootstocks appropriate for our unique low-chill coastal climate in a changing global climate. The lecture will be followed by a tree planting demonstration and discussion of how to care for young trees, including pruning and training, fertilizing, and spraying.

NOTE: This location has limited seating of 30. We recommend early registration.

Save Your Seat for the Organic Fruit Trees from the Ground Up


Basics of Rose Care Workshop

10:00 am - noon

Cost: Free

San Juan Bautista Historic Park Rose Gardens
2nd and Mariposa Street
San Juan Bautista, CA 93940

Join UC Master Gardener Dawn Avery to learn the basics of rose care in this hands-on workshop the San Juan Bautista State Historic Park Rose Gardens. Learn about summer and winter pruning, watering, mulching and fertilizing, followed by a discussion of rose disorders. Bring your gloves and clippers for a hands-on rose pruning demonstration!

Do you have potted roses that need some TLC? Bring them and Dawn will show you how to prune for health and vigor.

The first half of the class is held in the visitor center, followed by the pruning demonstration outdoors. Gloves, pruners, hat/sunscreen, and layered clothing are recommended. Rain cancels the outdoor demonstration that follows.

NOTE: THIS CLASS IS ALMOST FULL. This location has limited seating of 30. We recommend early registration.

Save Your Seat for Basics of Rose Care Workshop


Chicks in the City, Hens in the Hood

9:30 am - 11:30 am

Cost: $5

Common Roots Farm
335 Golf Club Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 96050
Are you interested in raising backyard hens? UC Master Gardener Candice McLaren will cover the variety of poultry available both locally and through poultry catalogs and websites, while guiding you through the many decisions when thinking about adding hens to your family: Do you want large or small birds? White, brown or blue/green eggs? Fancy feathered birds? Full-grown hens or baby chicks or rescue birds from our local Animal Services or other shelters?

Learn local city codes, types of feed, ideal locations for a chicken coop, predators, and when to expect that first egg! Her presentation will focus on starting with baby chicks. You’ll learn know how to prepare their first home, how to keep the chicks warm, what to feed, and transitioning your young chickens from a warm house (yours!) to their new chicken coop outside.
NOTE: This class location has limited seating of 30. We recommend early registration.
Save Your Seat for Chicks in the City, Hens in the Hood


Pruning Small Trees - Shrubs & Perennials

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Cost: $5

Quail Hollow Ranch County Park
800 Quail Hollow Road
Felton, CA 95018

The goal of pruning is to maintain strong, healthy, attractive plants. Join Carol Nickbarg, UC Master Gardener and landscape consultant, to learn how to evaluate your plants' pruning needs, how to make proper cuts, and techniques for size reduction, thinning and other commonly encountered issues.

Participants will take home handouts to provide guidance at home. Dress for weather as we will spend part of our time in the Ranch gardens.

Save Your Seat for Pruning Small Trees - Shrubs & Perennials

Ask a Master Gardener!

Have questions about your garden but can't meet us in person? We are here to help! Submit your questions to our Hotline here!
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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