UCCE Master Gardeners of San Bernardino County
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UCCE Master Gardeners of San Bernardino County

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June Garden Tips – Keeping Up with the Busy Garden

Summer has arrived, bringing with it busier days and rising temperatures. Managing irrigation is quickly becoming the most critical task in the garden as the heat increases. 

Photo Credit: Ramona Jacobs, UC Master Gardener San Joaquin County

Here is a list of gardening activities to focus on this June:

  1. Plant Warm-Season Crops: In many parts of the state you can still plant certain warm-season crops such as beans, corn, cucumbers, pumpkins (start now for Halloween), and summer squash. These warm-season plants require substantial irrigation, so plan accordingly. Plant only as many as you can consistently water throughout the summer.
  2. Stake Tomatoes: Stake or cage tomato plants so they do not lay on the ground. This reduces fruit rots, makes pest management more manageable, and ensures harvesting later in the season is easy. Mulch your tomato plants to conserve soil moisture.
  3. Mulch: June is ideal for mulching the garden. Mulch adds a decorative touch and reduces water evaporation from the soil. It also helps control weeds, moderates soil temperature, and improves soil fertility. Maintain a 3-to 4-inch mulch depth, keeping it at least 6 inches away from the base of woody plants like trees and shrubs to prevent potentially fatal fungal growth.
  4. Check Watering Schedule: Regularly check soil moisture and adjust your watering habits or the schedule on your irrigation controller accordingly. Water early in the coolest part of the day to maximize water absorption through plant roots and minimize evaporation.
  5. Deadhead Flowers: Once you have spent flowers, deadhead roses and other summer-blooming plants to encourage continued blooming. Cut blossoms for bouquets early in the morning, as they stay fresh longer if quickly placed in a vase of water. Keep an old can or jar with water handy as you cut your stems.
  6. Manage Aphids: Be vigilant for any remaining aphid colonies and spray them off with water early in the day before high temperatures. This allows plants to dry quickly in the sun, reducing susceptibility to fungal diseases. Repeat applications over several days until the aphids are gone.
  7. Trellis Plants: Train your plants to trellises or supports as they grow. Avoid handling plants when wet from dew in the morning, as this can spread disease. Make sure the trellis you choose can handle the weight of your plant or is secured to another structure that can.
  8. Fire-Safe Landscaping: Implement fire-safe landscaping by following these steps:
    • LEAN: Thin out dense vegetation and eliminate fuel ladders that allow fire to climb up trees.
    • CLEAN: Mow grasses, trim shrubs, and remove dry, resinous, dead plants and flammable debris. Cut branches back 15 to 20 feet from buildings. Use non-combustible surfaces for walkways, patios, and driveways.
    • GREEN: Landscape using low-growing, non-woody plants.
  9. Protect Fruit Trees: Cover fruit trees with netting to exclude birds and other vertebrate pests.
  10. Prune Citrus: Remove suckers at the base of citrus trees. Suckers that arise below the graft union are part of the rootstock plant. They are vigorous shoots that take water and nutrients from the rest of the plant and negatively impact your harvest. In addition to suckers, remove water sprouts, and low-hanging branches that could interfere with sprinklers or allow pests to climb into the trees.
  11. Enjoy Your Garden: Harvest and savor the fruits of your labor!

Following these June Garden Tips can ensure a healthy and productive garden throughout the summer.

Ask your local UC Master Gardener Program.

Have a gardening question? UC Master Gardener volunteers are available to help. Click here to Find a Program and connect with your local UC Master Gardener Program. You will be redirected to your local county website and contact information. UC Master Gardener volunteers are available to help answer questions for FREE. Happy gardening! 


Posted on Friday, June 7, 2024 at 1:21 PM

UC Master Gardeners part of effort to eradicate invasive tree-of-heaven

UC Master Gardeners across the state are on a scouting mission for the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), combing their communities and the local countryside to find the undesirable but common tree-of-heaven.

Trees-of-heaven are invasive trees from China that can host damaging exotic pests. (Photo: CDFA)

In contrast to its angelic name, tree-of-heaven is a noxious invasive plant that was introduced during the Gold Rush by Chinese miners who valued its medicinal properties. It is also the preferred host plant for two damaging exotic pests, the brown marmorated stink bug, already found in parts of California, and the spotted lanternfly, a leafhopper from China that officials want to keep out.


Spotted lanternfly, a pest CDFA is working proactively to keep out of California, strongly prefers tree-of-heaven. (Photo: USDA)

Spotted lanternflies were first detected in the U.S. in 2014 in Pennsylvania. They have since been spreading and are already found in 17 states, as far west as Illinois. Spotted lanternfly poses a significant threat to California agriculture and its natural areas, so CDFA is being proactive, organizing an effort to reduce the number of the pest's favorite host plant, tree-of-heaven.

Tree-of-heaven is found in 39 California counties, including Fresno County. It is a deciduous tree that can reach 75 feet in height with a 12-inch diameter near the base. It has smooth bark that resembles cantaloupe rind and compound leaves that contain dozens of leaflets. The tree tolerates unfavorable growing conditions on every type of topography in California below the 7,000-foot elevation. It is not an easy tree to eradicate. When cut down, it resprouts readily, creating even more trees in dense stands.

Brown marmorated stink bug, already found in California, favor tree-of-heaven. (Wikimedia Commons)

“CDFA has funding for elimination of tree-of-heaven,” said Missy Gable, director of the UC Master Gardener Statewide Program. “They need to know where the trees are located so funds can be allocated to local agencies for removal. With UC Master Gardeners' extensive training and statewide reach, they are uniquely equipped to support the project.”

More than 6,000 volunteers across the state are trained and certified UC Master Gardeners. They are dedicated to educating the public on sustainable gardening and being involved in environmental stewardship in their communities. About 300 Master Gardener volunteers have been trained to identify tree-of-heaven by assessing the bark, leaves, flowers and seeds. Using a simple online scouting tool, they will record the locations, number of trees in the stand, and the approximate diameter of the largest tree at breast height. The tool generates a map that can be used by researchers, CDFA and local public works officials to prioritize trees for removal.

If you would like more information on joining the UC Master Gardener scouting project you can watch the informational webinar here.


This article was originally posted on the UC Master Gardeners of Fresno blog.

Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2024 at 2:52 PM

Support Sustainable Gardening for UC ANR Giving Day, May 17

It's time to come together and support the UC Master Gardener Program's mission, so save the date! May 17-18, from noon to noon, is the UC Master Gardener Program statewide giving day, UC ANR Giving Day. This special event invites you to help support our mission of extending sustainable gardening practices to thousands of community, school, and demonstration gardens across California. By donating to the UC Master Gardener Program, you can help bring the knowledge and resources of the University to your local community.

Get ready to dig deep, spread the word, and make a difference!

As gardeners, we understand the importance of sustainable practices in nurturing green spaces and preserving the natural environment. You can see the impact of the UC Master Gardeners in the stories of our Gardeners With Heart. These stories show the many ways our volunteers help our communities by supporting food access, protecting pollinator habitats, connecting communities through gardening, supporting sustainable landscaping, and research-backed education.  By supporting the UC Master Gardener Program, you contribute to the advancement of sustainable gardening practices throughout the state, fostering healthier gardens and communities.

UC ANR Giving Day offers various ways for you to show your support and get involved. Whether you are an avid gardener, a passionate environmentalist, or simply someone who recognizes the value of sustainable practices, we'd love you to join us in supporting our mission.

Make a Gift:

Visit donate.ucanr.edu/givingday during the 24-hour giving day on May 16-17 (noon to noon). Every donation, regardless of size, significantly impacts the UC Master Gardener Program's ability to continue its valuable work. Whether you contribute $5 or $500, your support helps fund educational resources, expand our outreach programs, and provides training opportunities.

Help Spread the Word:

Mark your calendar and spread the word about UC ANR Giving Day! Share the event details with your friends, family, and fellow gardening enthusiasts. Encourage them to join you in supporting this important cause. Together, we can create a ripple effect of positive change by raising awareness and inspiring others to get involved.

Engage on Social Media:

On May 16-17, be part of the excitement by joining in the conversation on social media. Use the hashtag #GivingDay to share your support for UC ANR Giving Day. Let your online community know why sustainable gardening is important to you. Together, we can amplify our message and inspire others to take action.

UC ANR Giving Day is an opportunity to unleash the power of giving and support sustainable gardening practices across California. By supporting the UC Master Gardener Program and UC ANR, you contribute to the extension of knowledge and resources to communities across California. Remember to mark your calendar for May 16-17, and join in the celebration of sustainable gardening.

Let's dig deep, donate, spread the word, and make a lasting impact together!

To make a gift and learn more about UC ANR Giving Day, visit donate.ucanr.edu/givingday.

Posted on Friday, May 10, 2024 at 7:16 AM
Tags: Giving Day (1)

Celebrating the Winners of the 2024

We are excited to announce the winners of the 2024 "Community in Bloom" Photo Contest! This year, we received an outpouring of incredible entries that captured community, creativity, and the spirit of the UC Master Gardener Program. A heartfelt thank you to each participant who shared their talent and to everyone who voted.

The winners are …


First Place: Gary Bednorz, Ventura County

Gary's entry, titled “Blessed Beginning,” captures the poignant Native American white sage smudging ceremony of Roanna Prell, marking the start of a trainee project to create a Chumash Sacred Garden.

Second Place: My Thanh Kim, San Diego 

With My Thanh's photo, “Together We Can Move Mountains (of Mulch)!” My Thanh highlights the joy of gardening throw the lens of children. The image is filled with fun, energy, and teamwork.

Third Place: Nick Hernandez, Tulare

Nick's photo “Fresh out of the Ground!” showcases the literal fruits of labor—a vibrant photo of a  freshly harvested carrot being enjoyed by straight from the garden.

Thank you once again to our entire UC Master Gardener community. Your passion, support, and volunteer work are the heart of our mission, bringing to life the beauty and impact of what we accomplish together.

To view all of the photo contest submissions visit: View Photo Submissions

Posted on Thursday, May 9, 2024 at 9:20 AM
Tags: Photo contest (4)

May Garden Tips – Getting Ready for Summer!

May is here, and the summer heat is just around the corner.  There is so much happening in our gardens this month. Here is a list of things to do in May.

  1. Plant Vegetables: Plant warm-season vegetables and consider succession planting every two weeks for extended harvests.
  2. Prevent Spider Mites: Take preventative measures such as adequate irrigation, daily misting of leaf undersides, reducing dustiness, and using horticultural oil sprays.
  3. Fertilize Fruit Trees: Fruit trees are actively growing, so fertilize them accordingly, following directions and safety precautions provided with the fertilizer you choose. 
  4. Prune Roses: Prune spent blooms weekly down to the first five-part leaf or slightly further for shaping. Lightly feed and water afterward.
  5. Prune Sub-Tropical and Deciduous Fruit Trees: May is ideal for pruning trees like ficus, coral tree, avocado, citrus, etc. Avoid pruning sub-tropical trees in winter.
  6. Plant Perennials: May is a great time to plant perennials; keep them well-watered as summer approaches.
  7. Fertilize Dahlias: Regularly fertilize dahlias with a low nitrogen, high phosphorus organic fertilizer like fish bone meal throughout their growing and blooming period.
  8. Turn on Automatic Timers: Now that the rainy season is over ensure your automatic timers are turned back on for watering. Water deeply and less frequently rather than with light, daily sprinkles
  9. Check Drip System: Regularly check drip systems for clogs, leaks, and broken parts to ensure efficient watering.
  10. Monitor for Pests: Visually survey plants weekly for pests and take action early to prevent high populations that are difficult to control.
  11. Refresh Mulch: Maintain soil moisture by refreshing mulch around plants.
  12. Weed Control: Remove weeds to reduce competition for water with your plants.


With this May garden checklist, you're well-equipped to embrace the season's abundance and nurture a thriving garden.

Ask your local UC Master Gardener Program.

Have a gardening question? UC Master Gardener volunteers are available to help. Click here to Find a Program and connect with your local UC Master Gardener Program. You will be redirected to your local county website and contact information. UC Master Gardener volunteers are available to help answer questions for FREE. Happy gardening! 


Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 at 12:00 PM

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