Winter’s gone, and with it our main rainy season. For the second year in a row, we’ve had below-average rainfall and will likely face water restrictions. Gardening during drought can be both a challenge and a learning opportunity. What are the telltale signs of drought on plants? How can you help your garden survive on less water? Should you install a drip irrigation system and experiment with different plants? A world of California natives and other low-water species awaits.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you had help making these decisions? Some assistance when choosing plants and managing garden tasks? Fortunately, the UC Marin Master Gardeners have created a new website that’s up for the job. If you’re looking for answers to pressing garden questions — or simply some guidance and inspiration — check it out at marinmg.ucanr.edu.
Designed with you, the user, in mind, the visually rich, easy-to-navigate site is loaded with practical how-to advice, satisfying problem-solving strategies and important Earth-friendly techniques. The website gets new gardeners off to a good start and provides more experienced gardeners with tools to fine-tune their craft. It offers Marin residents the opportunity to access research-based advice that’s backed by the breadth and depth of the University of California’s extensive agriculture and natural resources division.
“This compelling site reflects the experience and dedication of our hardworking Master Gardeners, who volunteered their time to bring this incredible resource to the community,” says UC Cooperative Extension director David Lewis. “Although the site provides a substantial quantity of material, it is easy and satisfying to navigate. I think Marin’s gardeners are going to be pretty amazed.”
Here’s what you’ll find on the new UC Marin Master Gardener website:
Emphasis on Earth-friendly gardening
• The new site is grounded in sustainable methods that allow you to grow beautiful gardens while staying in harmony with the natural environment. Go to the site to learn best practices for nurturing soil, encouraging biodiversity, mitigating climate change, and protecting wildlife and the environment.
Tools for solving garden problems
• Have aphids? Snails, rats or deer? No matter how long you’ve been gardening — months, years or decades — sooner or later you’ll encounter a vexing garden problem. While many are easily managed, there are occasions when a pest or disease reaches a level where some sort of control measure is warranted. In addition to learning how to tackle Marin’s top 20 pests, you’ll find information on biological control and other less-toxic pest management methods.
• Proven, hands-on, practical advice
The site includes many lists of plants specifically chosen for Marin gardens and gardeners, whether you’re looking to plant under oaks or redwoods, cover a slope, attract pollinators, find plants that thrive in clay soil or keep things simple with extra easy plants for brown thumbs. Learn the why, when and how to fertilize, prune, water and mulch.
A handy feature is the monthly plant care checklist. It’s on the homepage, and includes timely tips for maintenance and prevention, planting, propagating, pruning, pests, weeds and more.
• In-depth advice for growing edibles
If you enjoy growing fruits and vegetables, check out the new edibles section for expert advice on preparing beds and planting, selecting the tastiest varieties that do well in Marin, and timing things right with a planting calendar. Follow step-by-step instructions to grow delicious, healthy crops and rely on our strategies for solving the top 20 problems in the edible garden.
While the website is full of information, you can always contact the UC Marin Master Gardener help desk if you’re not able to find an answer to your question; email HelpDesk@marinmg.org for personalized assistance with a garden problem. You can also watch how-to videos on our YouTube channel and sign up for our free e-newsletter, the Leaflet, for seasonal advice.
Sponsored by UC Cooperative Extension, the University of California Marin Master Gardeners provide science- and research-based information for home gardeners. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Attach photos for inquiries about plant pests or diseases. The office is closed for drop-in visits.