Friday, August 1, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Garden doctor: Veggie gardening available year-round

By
From page A5 | April 16, 2014 |

Question: I moved from the Midwest last year, where we planted a vegetable garden in the spring and “put it to bed” in the fall. California is different! How can I grow onions here? Do people ever use sets? Mine bolted last summer. Also, when can I plant peppers? Tomatoes?
Answer: In the Sacramento area, including Davis, a vegetable garden can be maintained and productive throughout the year. Many people do grow onions here. Seeds are the cheapest way to go but require the longest growing period and will tie up your garden space for a long time.

People grow onions from sets, mainly for a quick crop of green onions. For mature, dry onion bulbs, sets are not recommended because onion varieties used to produce sets are often not well adapted to California and tend to bolt as yours did.

Most people with home vegetable gardens here grow onions from transplants. They are most readily available from nurseries in the fall for November planting and early summer harvest. They may be sold as six-packs, or more practically as “bare root” bundles that are easy to stick in the ground.

Both peppers and tomatoes do best when the soil temperature reaches at least 70 degrees, peppers requiring a bit more heat. If you are starting from seed, you have to begin this project long before plants are big enough to go into the ground, say roughly January-February. If you buy transplants, start looking in April. Even if the days are warm right now, it takes soil longer to warm up than air, and nights are still relatively cool. (There is a very wise saying that “if your garden soil is warm enough that you could sit comfortably without pants then it’s warm enough to plant tomatoes.”)

There is a very accurate guide for seasonal planting times for this area devised by Robert Norris of UC Davis plant sciences. You can request these and other useful handouts by contacting Yolo Master Gardeners; see the contact information below.
Question: I am concerned about water rates increasing and the drought we are in. What are plants that will do well in our climate and use little water, beyond the usual succulents?
Answer: Like succulents, many plants are adapted to get by with less water, or to store water for later growth. Silvery or fuzzy foliage are often clues that a plant has lower water requirements, as are thickened leaves and stalks. They may have brightly colored blossoms that contrast with the foliage and are attractive to butterflies and other pollinators.
Overwatering is probably the most common threat to these plants surviving. They need to be watered to become established, but even if you plant during the hottest weeks, once a week should be more than enough to get them established. Let them dry between waterings and then water conservatively.
Other plants that do well with drought conditions are yarrow, silver artemisias, bearded iris, purple coneflower, snow-in-the-summer, creeping phlox, sunflowers, rosemary, lavender, common thyme and salvias. As always, you will want to group together plants that have similar water and light requirements.

Even with our current drought, you will need to water these drought-tolerant plants to establish them. Once established, they will provide years of pleasure and interest in your garden with little water and little maintenance.
Question: My crop of apples last year looked beautiful, but every one had a worm. What is the culprit? How can I prevent it?
Answer: The culprit is most likely coddling moth. Insecticides might control the target pest but will harm bees and other potential beneficial insects that inhabit the orchard. The pest can be controlled with an ongoing sanitation process to keep all unwanted fruit off the ground, along with use of pheromone traps to confuse the males.

Apples can be bagged when the fruit measures between one-half and one inch in diameter. This is also a practical time to thin the crop. Some apple varieties (usually those with thin skins and later-ripening) are more vulnerable to damage.

You can learn more about this pest and others at the UCD IPM web site, http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7412.html.
————

Master Gardeners are available to help! On April 26 and May 17, a good place to find them is at UCD Arboretum plant sales, http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/plant_sales_and_nursery.aspx, and in the gardens on the annual Pence Gallery Garden Tour on May 4 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. For more information on the tour, see http://www.pencegallery.org/events.html#gardentour.

Master Gardeners will teach a free class in “Plant Propagation from Soft Wood Cuttings” on May 10 from 9 to 10 a.m. at Grace Garden, behind the Davis United Methodist Church, 1620 Anderson Road.

— Send questions, addressed to the “Garden Doctor,” by email to mgyolo@ucdavis.edu, voice mail to 530-666-8737, or regular mail to UCCE Master Gardeners, 70 Cottonwood St., Woodland, CA 95695. Be sure to include your contact information because any questions not answered in the Garden Doctor column will be answered with a phone call or email to you.

You can request the emailed Yolo Gardener newsletter and learn more about the Master Gardener program in Yolo County at http://ucanr.edu/sites/YCMG.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

Carbahal and Company celebrates 30 years

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

 
UCD chancellor is coming up for five-year review

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

A week of groundwater news in the Year of Groundwater

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
What’s the buzz?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

Davis Reads book project focuses on veterans

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Candidate goes homeless to showcase economic gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Increase in health plan costs is slowing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Kashkari’s campaign coffers depleted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Businesses can learn about PR strategies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Enjoy films, beer at benefit Friday night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Target hosts National Night Out celebration

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Parents can learn all about IEPs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

10 essential herbs are focus of Davisite’s talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Bee beard photo wins award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Digital device use is up among school-age children

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Backpacks for Kids launches annual donation drive

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Seniors share homes for savings, companionship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
City of Davis recruits for its advisory commissions

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Farmers Market shoppers can pick up free reusable produce bags

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

It’s not what they thought

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Railroads, listen up and respond

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

 
Treat children as refugees

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Protect and expand Medicare

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

It’s insurance against extremes

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Political cartoon was offensive

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

Let’s gas up for TAPS

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Sports

Swimley recalls a budding star in Giants’ Susac

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
Nick Watney leads Barracuda Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stuart named to outstanding placekicker watch list

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Going, going, gone: A’s trade Cespedes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Safety Bethea finding a groove with new 49ers team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
UCD women’s golf tees up tough schedule

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

WOH to hold auditions for ‘Zuccotti Park’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’: Droll sci-fi hijinks

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Barnyard Theatre adds ‘Pinky’ performance after sold-out opening night.

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘Tunes on Tuesdays’ come to Freeman Park

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Business

Grand Cherokee: A grand, and long, ride

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Don Fife

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Nancy Jane Fife

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Clara Meyerhoff

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Patricia Eileen Hershberger

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

John Vernon McLane Wayland

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
.

Comics

Comics: Friday, August 1, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A6