Master Gardeners

Quality gardening tips, plant information and advice from Master Gardeners on seeding, propagation, pruning, watering and more.

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December: Maintaining Your Gardening Tools

  If you have not already done so, spend some time in your garden shed looking after your garden tools.  Clean and sharpen the blades of your digging and cutting…

December: Forcing Paperwhites

Paperwhites can be grown in either water or soil.  If using water, place a 4-6 cm layer of stone or glass chips on the bottom of a container.  Nestle the…

December: Remove Snow and Ice from Trees and Shrubs Carefully

Gently sweep accumulated snow upwards. Do not shake or bang on branches; they break more easily when frozen.  It’s best to let the ice melt naturally, although on small evergreens,…

December: Caring For Your Poinsettia

  Poinsettias are sensitive to cold so protect them well as you move them from the store to home.  Once home, place them away from all drafts – warm and…

December: Keep Plants Safe While Clearing Ice

Salt-based ice melters are bad for your soil, plants and pets, and unfortunately, most home use products are salt-based (indicated by the word chloride). First, think about whether you actually…

December: Prepare for Winter Winds

Now that the leaves are gone, take a walk around your garden with your saw or loppers, removing damaged or hanging branches that might cause further damage to your trees when…

December: Enjoy Flowering Plants Indoors

At this time of year, many of us bring home cyclamens and poinsettias or nurture amaryllis bulbs to produce spectacular blooms for the holidays. Entering those plant names in the…

December: Living Christmas Trees

A living Christmas tree needs time to adapt to the indoor environment.  Put your tree in a sheltered, cool spot such as your garage for a few days before bringing…

December: Encouraging Young Gardeners

Encourage your child or grandchild to develop an interest in gardening by having them grow a plant from a seed.  Place 3 toothpicks evenly around an avocado seed and suspend…

December: Cyclamens

  If cyclamens are given their preferred conditions – cool and bright indirect light – they can bloom for several months.  Keep them evenly moist by watering from the bottom. …

Word of the Week: Peduncle

What’s stalking flowers and foliage? We call leafstalks petioles. Flower stalks, on the other hand, may be referred to as either peduncles or pedicels. A peduncle is the stalk that joins…

The Plastic Dilemma

By Marilyn Homewood, Master Gardener The recent severe weather experienced by the west coast drives home the reality of our changing climate. Gardeners pride themselves on being good stewards of…

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