placer county master gardeners

Studies on biochar indicate potentially promising uses as a soil amendment

Question: I am a well-read gardener living in Colfax, writing to ask your opinion of the new hot topic in gardening: biochar.  For years I read that aerated compost tea was go ...

Easing the plight of the monarch butterfly

Question: I read in the news this week that the population of monarch butterflies is 91 percent less than it was two decades ago. What is happening and how can I help? Answer:&nb ...

Ask the Master Gardener: Bleeding sap from cherry tree could be linked to several causes

Question: My well established sour cherry tree is bleeding sap from its bark at several places on the tree. I assume this bleeding must be related to the flower/leaf drop that made ...

Want a vegetable garden that’s less work? Consider planting perennials

Question: I like the idea of growing my own vegetables, but it seems like a lot of work. Are there some that are easier than others? Answer: There is a newfound interest in growi ...

Choosing Christmas plants that will survive outdoors in foothill winters

Question: Some of my friends are gardeners and I want to give them live holiday plants for Christmas. Can you tell me which traditional Christmas plants can be later planted outsid ...

You can have olive trees without the fruit

Question: My family enjoys our olive trees for the graceful beauty they bring to our property (curb appeal) but the olives are a nuisance. How can I stop the trees from bearing fru ...

Want cleaner air? Get some houseplants

Question: I am concerned about the air quality within our home, especially in the winter when windows are not left open. A friend advises that houseplants could help purify the ind ...

Know how to recognize black widow spiders

Question: How do I know if I have black widow spiders in my garden? Answer: The western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus) — a native species — is quite common ...

Managing ants key to controlling aphids in crape myrtles

Question: What is the best way to get rid of aphids in 30-foot crape myrtles? I tried using a power washer to hit the upper branches and knock them off the leaves — but that ...

Master Gardeners' calendar discusses ways to garden in the drought

The Placer County Master Gardeners’ calendar for 2015 is putting California’s drought front and center. Under the theme “California Dreaming  … Beau ...