November in Sonoma County
The Bloomin’ Backyards team is working hard to prepare six unique Petaluma gardens belonging to Master Gardeners for the 2020 BBY Tour. The gardens have been selected for their beauty and as displays of sustainable gardening practices. Each of the gardens will be featured in an article on the website over the next six months. You will learn what to look for in each, and understand what to appreciate such as: goals of the gardener, special features of a particular garden, and important gardening practices such as sustainability, firewise choices, and other valuable horticultural methods.
The Spring 2020 Bloomin’ Backyards garden tour is scheduled for Sunday, May 17, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Petaluma. Recognized experts will be on hand to demonstrate and answer questions on organic gardening, soil development, drip irrigation, integrated pest management, habitat gardening, growing fruits and vegetables, water catchment, firewise landscaping, and much, much more. The tour is a biennial event presented by the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County.
Ticket information will be posted on our website in early January. Please visit sonomamg.ucanr.edu for regularly updated information.
Putting Your Food Garden to Bed
Watch the new Sudden Oak Death Video
The Sudden Oak Death team at the University of California Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources has just released a new video that is well worth watching. There's a lot to learn here, all presented with great visuals to aid our understanding of Sudden Oak Death. Makes learning about SOD easy!
Growing a Thriving Vegetable Garden with Less Water
The Food Gardening Specialists (FGS) of the UCCE Sonoma Master Gardeners are excited to present water-wise food gardening strategies. Given our hot, dry summers along with the prediction of extended drought, we can’t afford to waste a drop. This video demonstrates how home and community gardeners can grow a thriving vegetable garden with less water. In addition, this video is complemented by a planting scheme and a drip system instruction and shopping list that reflect the 4x8-foot demonstration vegetable bed in the video. Click here for these documents along with additional helpful documents for food gardening with less water.
Ask a Master Gardener
Questions and Answers from the Helpline
Watch to Learn What Master Gardeners Do
Master Gardener-staffed Help Desks are located
at Sonoma County Farmers' Markets and Fairs
Master Gardeners are volunteers trained by the UC Davis Cooperative Extension.
Sonoma County Master Gardeners will provide environmentally sustainable, science-based horticultural information to all of Sonoma County’s population. We strive for diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our organization.
UCCE Farm Advisor: Stephanie Larson, County Director
SCMG Coordinator: Mimi Enright
|Rain Gardens. A beautiful way to keep water in the garden - Healdsburg||12/7/2019|
|Pruning and Caring for Fruit Trees - Petaluma||12/7/2019|
|Holiday Arrangements from the Seasonal Garden - Sebastopol||12/7/2019|
Sundays with Sue
By SCMG Sue Lovelace
Updated: November 17, 2019
Not all persimmons are created alike. There are two types of persimmons, astringent and non astringent. Two common cultivars grown around here are ‘Hachiya’ (astringent) and ‘Fuyu’ (non-astringent), both Asian varieties. ‘Hachiya’ which are an oval, egg, shaped fruit, have to be very ripe and soft when eaten and are usually cooked into a recipe, or added to smoothies. Cutting the top off, will allow one to scoop out the pulp and eat as is, or add to a dish. ‘Fuyu’ which is shaped like a pumpkin or tomato, is usually eaten raw, sliced or whole, and can be eaten hard and full colored. Both varieties are very sweet but ‘Hachiya’, because of a high level of tannins, is too astringent to eat until very soft, as mentioned already.
Persimmon trees lose their leaves, after turning beautiful colors, in the late fall/early winter, but fruit will continue to hang on the tree like little ornaments. When the leaves appear in the spring, they are bright green; lighting up the garden. They are drought tolerant but produce better fruit with regular irrigation, and also seem to tolerant clay soils. Amending with compost before planting is always advised to provide drainage.
Besides being beautiful, delicious, and highly unique, persimmons are very nutritious. They are high in fiber and contain impressive levels of vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and manganese along with B1, B2, B6, magnesium and phosphorus. I love the fact that the persimmons ripen just about the time apples are done! I have to mention how beautiful these fruits are in wreaths and arrangements. Simply, filling a cylinder shaped vase with these orange beauties is a lovely addition to a room.
Gophers in the front yard seem happy, as well; a phormium, their latest victim! Rumor has it that persimmon trees aren’t necessarily on their menu plan. One can only hope, as neither of the two we have, were put in cages before planting.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I’m hoping the huge Swiss chard plants that I’ve left alone in hopes of harvesting for the dinner stuffing, makes it through pest challenging times!! Is there anything as rewarding to a gardener than enjoying freshly grown produce from the garden? For me, I think not. With this thought, I stay armed with row covers, gopher cages, and whatever else I think to use to keep up a defense! Some fair weather pests have left the scene until the warmth of spring; namely the cabbage moth, and, “knock on wood”, the flies whose larvae become leaf miners on spinach and chard.
As the holidays approach and the weather dramatically cools, I wish you a healthy week in the garden, that will produce rewards for your meals, and arrangements for your table.
“When the Pilgrims first came to America, they nearly starved because of insufficient food. It was with the help of a Native American they knew as Squanto that they learned to properly cultivate the land so that they could survive and flourish....“ Bill Heid, Squanto’s Garden
Master Gardeners in Print
The Garden Doctors
Dana Lozano & Gwen Kilchherr, The Press Democrat
The best ways to store squash and potatoes 10/18/2019
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