Need advice about gardening, landscaping, pest management and more? The Master Gardeners of Napa County are here to help. This is a collection of their most recent columns.
September is the time in Napa County to plant cool-season vegetables, fall annual flowers and — as soon as the rains start — California native plants. It’s also the moment to plant spring-flowering bulbs.
What trees are best to plant to help with climate change? Master Gardeners of Napa County have suggestions.
With the changes in weather, rainfall and temperatures, does it make sense to plant a fall garden? Napa County Master Gardeners say yes, with some changes.
Is it really best to buy the biggest tree you can afford? A veteran Master Gardener provides the answer to this and other myths about trees.
Mast-seeding plants create more effective habitat in your garden, improve the diets of pigs and chickens and may increase your chances of seeing interesting birds. So what is mast-seeding?
While native plants may be preferable as a butterfly habitat, the passionflower is an exception. Butterflies love them.
The Napa County Master Gardeners provide a primer for growing your own pomegranates.
July is time to relax and enjoy everything you’ve accomplished in your garden, and it's also time for a midsummer checkup to make sure that everything will continue to do well.
Ceanothus, native to California and very drought-tolerant once established, is ideal for Napa Valley gardens.
One way to garden during a drought is to try the method of French intensive gardening.
Gardening is a great way to grow food, connect with nature and stay physically active for adults and children. Kids, however, don’t have the same abilities and attention span as adults, so here are tips to keep in mind if you’re gardening with young people or designing a garden for them.
No matter where you live in Napa County, you’ll be able to find a variety of fig tree that’s right for your microclimate.
One of the pleasures of having a large, messy vegetable garden is that plants that get ignored past their useful life as an edible still have value.
Colorful bearded iris are easy guests in most gardens, and they reproduce rapidly.
It’s not too late to have a successful summer vegetable garden. Early June is still a great time to plant some tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, beans, chard, cucumbers, melons, squash and pumpkins.
We have bats in Napa County and we should be happy they are here. One bat can eat as many as 3,000 insects in one night.
Hellebores stay green all year, bloom in the winter and don’t take a lot of water to keep them happy.
As a good steward of the planet, what can you do to better prepare your garden to use less water?
If you haven’t eaten Romano green beans fresh from the garden, you can’t imagine how delicious they are, UC Master Gardener Donna Woodward writes.
Mushrooms and toadstools are all fungi working for you by breaking down decaying materials and adding to the health of your soil.
Few vegetables can boast the versatility of the beet, which is effectively two vegetables in one. Here are tips for growing them successfully.
If you decide to build a greenhouse, be sure to do a lot of research. Just what plants do you plan to put in the greenhouse? Will you try to grow crops?
The Solanaceae, or nightshade family, is a large one. Just as our own families can include the kindly grandma as well as the femme fatale, nightshade plants include potatoes and tomatoes, as well as tobacco, belladonna and jimson weed.
Early spring is the time of year when snails and slugs appear. They love to chew on tender young foliage. If your garden suddenly displays leaves with holes and ragged edges, chances are you have slugs and/or snails
The Napa Master Gardeners have moved their popular, annual tomato sale online this year.
The Mexican marigold was unknown to gardeners in the U.S. until 1880. John and Sara Lemmon, a husband-and-wife team of botanists, discovered it while camping in Arizona on their honeymoon.
UC Master Gardeners of Napa County recommend taking note of how climate change is affecting your garden for everything from frost dates to when and how much rain falls.
"We all need to keep learning, discovering new perspectives and combining the best ideas and practices from the rich tapestry of cultures in our country," writes Napa County Master Gardener Susanne Von Rosenberg as she explores the connection between Black history and American gardening.
One of the challenges many gardeners face is how to make shady spots look good. Napa County Master Gardeners have some ideas, including flowering native plants.
Many scientists are calling the decline in bugs “the insect apocalypse.” Napa County Master Gardeners are coming up with ways to help bugs, which are at the start of the food chain while we are at the end.
Native buckwheats come in all shapes and sizes, from just a few inches tall and a foot or so across to as much as 8 feet tall and 10 feet across.
This is the time of year when we start to prepare our soil beds for spring planting. Because Napa County has large rural areas and many househ…
Perennials vegetables give back a lot for relatively little effort.
Master Gardener Penny Pawl shares advice on growing camillias.
Roses grow well in Napa County. Here are tips to help them thrive.
December and January are the best months to plant bare-root fruit trees and berries so you can enjoy the bounty in summers to come.
Ficus Benjamina or weeping fig can grow well in a shady spot or even in the house.
Asked why she continued to live in California after fires destroyed her home, writer Hildegarde Flanner, a former Calistoga resident, wrote that fire is part of the western landscape. "It is in the earth."
An easy way to spice up your vegetable garden is to plant onions and garlic. They are not difficult to grow. You can plant onions and leeks fr…
We may not see substantial rain until April. With that possibility in mind, you can take steps now to help your plants survive.
They say that growing a redwood in your backyard is like having a whale in your swimming pool.
Gardening myths come from many sources. Here are some common ones.
These days you can get gardening information just about anywhere. In addition to the internet, there are radio shows, books, TV shows and clas…
After making pickles for the first time, enthusiasts set out to find the best cucumbers to grow for the next project.
Napa County Master Gardeners share advice for landscaping in our fire-prone valley.
Even if you are busy harvesting and giving away zucchini, picking tomatoes for salads and sauces and preserving summer’s sweet fruits for winter treats, it is time to take a break and plan next year’s garden.
Here's a step-by-step guide to planting a garden that bees will love.
The tomato hornworm that so many gardeners detest has a beautiful future if we let it be.
Also known as Angel Trumpets, Brugmansias' impressive flowers can be grown in Napa County.
Napa County Master Gardeners celebrate 25 years this year, and despite the challenging circumstances, they continue to provide advice and help for home gardeners.
Meet the spiders hanging in the corners of your house.
Keep these four principles in mind if you want to increase the yield from your garden: picking the right vegetables, planning carefully, interplanting and extending the season.
Oh no, Napa County Master Gardener Penny Pawl has fallen in love with a plant and its beautiful flowers. And then she discovered that it is on the invasive plant list. What to do? And why is this plant on the list?
The four basic weed control methods are prevention, removal, smothering and exhaustion. Most gardeners will need a combination of these methods to control their weeds.
Weeds can provide some benefits, so learning about the different weeds can help you decide whether you just might let certain ones grow for a while. Over time, you may make friends with certain weeds and make them part of the cycle of your garden.
The bunchberry is a ground-hugging member of the dogwood family.
The sweet pea became a floral sensation in the late Victorian era. In the language of flowers, a bouquet of sweet peas meant “goodbye” or “thank you for a lovely time.”
There are many other things to love about sunflowers, including how easy they are to grow.
About a year ago, Master Gardeners of Napa County received a request to provide a speaker for a nursing home. The topic was: How do plants and…
Wisteria vines will grow up trees, trellises, houses or whatever they can find. They have been known to break the support they were growing on, so if you have a wisteria, keep an eye on it.
It’s almost the end of March, and we’re getting close to the planting season for summer vegetables. At the same time, we’re supposed to avoid …
Let your garden be part of your refuge during trying times.
Growing some of your own vegetables is one way to contribute to a more sustainable world. You can make your vegetable garden even more sustainable by a few simple practices: reducing the inputs, minimizing waste and building your soil.
Want to help the California Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies? Plant their favorite food: California pipevine plants.