UC Master Gardener of Monterey
and Santa Cruz Counties
                                                          View this email in your browser
You are invited to join us for our garden tour featuring beautiful, hidden gardens and a small farm in Salinas. Spend a beautiful Saturday in Steinbeck Country with us! Tickets are available now.

Check out our practical, hands-on classes designed for local home gardeners. Some locations have limited seating, so please sign up early. We look forward to meeting you and answering your questions!

Featured Home Garden: Cascade of Roses
Micro-enclosures May Deter Deer

Garden Tour | May 18 | Salinas

Inviting Bees Into Your Garden | May 4 | San Juan Bautista
Planting & Caring for Succulents | June 2 | Felton
Build Your Own Compost Bin | June 15 | Santa Cruz
Introduction to Edible Landscaping | June 22 | Salinas

Click here for a complete list of our classes and events. 

In the Garden

Featured Home Garden:
Cascade of Roses

We're highlighting one of our homeowners on our Garden Tour, Joe Truskot. Find out more about his garden, how this master rosarian and author developed his curated selection of roses and pick up recommendations for the best roses for beginners in our area.

When Joe Truskot started his home garden in 1993, he planted roses everywhere. “I made all the mistakes you could possibly make in the first few years, “Truskot said. “And the roses just didn’t do well.”

Truskot discovered that many mass-market roses don’t appreciate the cool weather in Salinas, and quickly surrender to an onslaught of fungal diseases. But he persisted, planting some 300 different rose varieties over the years and ruthlessly culling the ones that sulked, shivered or succumbed to the fungal spores.

Today, Truskot’s spring garden is a heart-melting riot of scented blossoms erupting from sixty different rose bushes – all of them thriving in Salinas summer weather that rivals foggy San Francisco’s. And despite his inauspicious start, Truskot has become a respected rosarian, writer and horticulturist who hosts a radio show on Central Coast gardening.

Truskot’s garden is a featured site for this year’s UC Master Gardeners of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties Garden Tour, taking place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 18. He looks forward to showcasing his 26-year labor of love and demystifying the rose’s reputation as a fussy plant. 

The key to success with roses, Truskot said, is to choose the right ones for your garden.

“A lot of the commercially attractive roses that people recognize, like Sterling Silver, Peace or Mr. Lincoln, they’re very popular but they don’t do well here,” Truskot said. “It happens all the time, people go to a big-box store and buy plants from people who don’t know what they’re selling. They put them in the garden, and the minute the fog rolls in the plants start mildewing.”

Visitors to Truskot’s rose bower will encounter an eclectic collection of hybrid tea roses, tall climbers, miniature varieties and even some “pioneer” roses brought to California in the Spanish era and obtained via cuttings from historic bushes. The weather isn’t the only horticultural challenge presented by Truskot’s suburban plot – elaborate drainage, raised beds and soil amendments are needed to prevent water from pooling on the adobe clay soil.

Also in the garden are “some of the largest cabbages you’ve ever seen,” growing in Truskot’s experimental Hügelkultur plot – a raised bed filled with branches, scrap wood and soil, which maintains fertility with slow decomposition of the wood.

Naming a favorite rose is like choosing a favorite child – a designation that likely changes over time. But at the moment Truskot is enchanted with a gorgeous climber named Sombreuil, a lavishly-petaled, creamy-white David Austen rose with the distinct scent of green tea leaves.

For beginners wishing to avoid his early mistakes, Truskot suggests planting Maria Callas (often referred to in the U.S. as Miss All-American Beauty), Gemini, or a tried-and-true Iceberg rose.

“If you can’t grow a rose, grow Iceberg,” he said with a laugh. “It’s probably the dullest rose ever created but it’s blooming all the time.” And yes, Truskot has a bountiful, healthy Iceberg rose growing in his garden.

-  Maria Gaura, UC Master Gardener

Micro-Enclosures May Deter Deer

Could building small enclosures prevent deer from eating your most vulnerable plants? 

A study conducted by Minnesota citizen-scientist Kent Scheer, owner of Wadena’s Green Island Preserve, has shown that 16’x16’ “micro-enclosures” constructed from welded-wire cattle panels are mostly successful at excluding deer from garden spaces – even though deer can easily jump over the 50-inch-tall panels.

Scheer built six micro-enclosures on his rural property by simply standing the wire panels on edge and clipping the corners together. The enclosures surrounded various plantings vulnerable garden vegetables, herbs and trees, and the sites were monitored for deer incursions over 18 months. Surprisingly, only one deer incursion into an enclosure was recorded during the study period.

Scheer hypothesizes that deer are afraid of getting trapped in the enclosures and shy away from taking the leap.

University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener volunteers are helping publicize Scheer’s findings as a service to home gardeners who may benefit from information about an inexpensive solution to deer damage. For more information on deer micro-enclosures, go to

-  Maria Gaura, UC Master Gardener

Salinas Garden Tour on Saturday, May 18

Explore hidden gardens in Steinbeck Country!

Tickets are available now for our annual garden tour highlighting beautiful home gardens and a small farm in Salinas, the heart of Steinbeck Country.

Stop by our Tour Headquarters at Rancho Cielo at 710 Old Stage Road, where we will host our last spring plant sale, a garden marketplace, silent auction and raffle for garden-related items.

These wildlife-friendly and water-wise home gardens include a certified wildlife habitat, a garden and koi pond built around 19 pet fish, a family oasis designed for community gatherings, and a garden honoring family memories.

Master Gardeners will be available at each garden to answer your questions. We hope you'll join us!
UC Master Gardeners of Monterey and Santa Cruz County Garden Tour
Saturday, May 18 from 10-3
Tickets: $25 per person
Bookmark this page for the latest Garden Tour news and to purchase tickets.

Proceeds help us continue to offer no & low-cost classes for home gardeners in our area. Thank you for supporting our organization!

Upcoming Classes


Inviting Bees Into Your Garden

10:00 am - noon

San Juan Bautista State Park
2nd and Mariposa Streets
San Juan Bautista, CA 95045

Would you like to invite and encourage native bees and honey bees into your garden? In this class, you'll learn the conditions, practices and specific plants which, grown together, can provide year-round food sources for a wide variety of bees.

Save Your Seat for Inviting Bees Into Your Garden


Planting & Caring for Succulents

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Quail Hollow Ranch | Felton
800 Quail Hollow Road
Felton, CA 95018

POPULAR! Learn about the fascinating varieties of succulents, planting techniques, soil selection, propagation by cuttings and divisions and ongoing care including watering, fertilizing and pest management. Everyone will get hands-on instruction planting succulents in a pot they can take home. Please bring a special container with a drain hole for your planting. Class includes a succulent swap, so everyone is invited to bring succulent cuttings to share with one another for our plantings and to take home.

Note: There is no cost for the class, but Quail Hollow Ranch collects $3 for use of the facility.

Save Your Seat for Planting & Caring for Succulents


Build Your Own Compost Bin

10:00 am - noon

Common Roots Farm | Santa Cruz
335 Golf Club Drive
Felton, CA 95018

Anyone can learn to build a simple, versatile, stacking compost bin and we will show you how! In this hands-on demo, we will use wood from an old deck and save it from the landfill by repurposing it into a handsome container suitable for composting.

Note: Seats are limited at Common Roots Farm (formerly Costanoa Commons).

Save Your Seat for Build Your Own Compost Bin


Introduction to Edible Landscaping

10:00 am - 12:00 pm

UCCE Auditorium | Salinas
1432 Abbott Street
Salinas, CA 93901

Designed for beginners and intermediate gardeners, this course will cover introductory topics including why to do it, why not do it, how to do it and what to plant. We will provide ways to add a single edible to your existing landscape, add edibles to container gardening, and creating a small 100 sq ft patch. 

Save Your Seat for Edible Landscaping
Copyright 2019 UC Master Gardeners of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties

Our all-volunteer organization offers no-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 © 2019 UC Master Gardeners of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list