Master Gardener Monthly Newsletter

January 2023

Featured Article

Summer Blackberries

UC Master Gardeners

Our cool northern California coastal areas provide the perfect climate for growing sweet, flavorful blackberries. So take a break from the holiday rush and get going on summer's delicious crop. There are a number of hybrids and also thorny and thornless varieties but, ultimately, there are two basic types of blackberries: trailing (with canes that are not self-supporting) or erect (with stiff, arching canes that are somewhat self-supporting). Read more.

Classes, Videos & More

Winter in Your Garden

December/January/February Checklists

UC Master Gardeners

View seasonal checklists from our main website. From the header bar, select "Resources" then select the season of your interest from the dropdown list. For the current season, read more.

Prudent Winter Pruning

UC Master Gardeners

Zoom presentation

January 11, 2023, 1:00pm-3:00pm

Prudent winter pruning is the best way to invigorate fruit trees in the home garden.  Pruning techniques will be demonstrated outside (via Zoom) weather permitting. You will learn how to prune deciduous fruit trees, maximize tree health and fruit production, and Identify dead, damaged and dying wood. Registration required.

School Garden Leaders Workshop

UC Master Gardeners

Zoom presentation

January 21, 2023, 10:00am-11:30am

School garden leaders are invited to attend our winter Zoom workshop to learn and share ideas. Topics to be covered include: Garden Connections for Spring Holidays - how plants are used in cultural celebrations; and School Gardens Beyond Vegetables – what else you can grow and use to enhance your curriculum. Registration required.

Houseplant Basics

UC Master Gardeners

San Francisco Public Library, Mission Bay Branch

900 4th Street

San Francisco, CA 94158

February 5, 2023, 1:00pm-2:30pm

In this class you will learn about the benefits, selection and care of houseplants, as well as how to handle any challenges. Registration is not required. Read more.

Growing Orchids, Tips for the San Francisco Bay Area Climate

UC Master Gardeners

San Francisco Public Library, Sunset Branch

1305 18th Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94122

February 11, 2023, 11:00am-12:30pm

Learn about cool, temperate and tropical zone orchids. Which type is good for you? Get to know cool growing orchids for San Francisco and the Coast such as Masdevallia and Cymbidiums as well as everyone’s favorite indoor orchid, the Phaelaenopsis. Discover how to successfully re-pot your orchid, water, feed and get them to re-bloom, along with methods for dealing with common pests and diseases. No registration required. Read more.

How to Create Stunning Container Gardens

UC Master Gardeners

San Francisco Public Library, Richmond Branch

351 9th Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94118

February 11, 2023, 1:00pm-2:30pm

Whether you have a small garden, balcony, deck or a simple window box, you can bring pops of color to your outdoor space by creating lush container gardens. Discussion will include design, color, plant placement and how to choose the right plants as keys to creating stunning containers overflowing with flowers, herbs and trailing plants. You will also learn how to care for your containers and refresh them as the seasons change. No registration required. Read more.

Collective Roots

1785 Woodland Avenue

East Palo Alto, CA 94303

Collective Roots Community Garden offers a place for community members to gain hands-on experience with organic gardening. Through workshops, volunteer workdays, and community resources, they equip families with the skills and means to grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables. Residents of East Palo Alto can enjoy additional free resources, such as a tool lending library and free seeds while qualifying residents can apply for free home garden installation and use of garden plots at the Collective Roots garden. Read more.

How to Plant a Bareroot Fruit Tree Step-by-Step



Bareroot fruit trees are much less expensive than pot-grown trees and are available between autumn and spring while the plants are dormant. Trees planted during this rest period have time to settle into their new growing conditions before they burst into vigorous growth in spring. Watch video.

Our Mission Statement

To extend research-based knowledge and information on home horticulture, pest management, and sustainable landscape practices to the residents of California and be guided by our core values and strategic initiatives." Follow us on our websiteFacebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or YouTube channels.

Gardening Resources


Choose the affected plant from photos displayed, click on the photo, remove any selections that do not apply, click on the plant names, and continue to filter selections to view the results for a possible diagnoses. Learn more.


Select links to access gardening resources, California Backyard Orchard, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), publications, and finding a local Master Gardener program.  Learn more.


Do you need help picking plants for your sustainable home garden? Selecting from the “Arboretum All-Stars” list is an easy way to start making “green” choices for your great looking garden. Arboretum All-Stars are top plants recommended by the horticultural staff of the UC Davis Arboretum. They thrive in California’s Mediterranean climate and have qualities that make them great choices for sustainable home gardens. Use searchable plant database to pick the perfect All-Star for your garden conditions. For more information, view their website.


Looking for plants native to California that are not only pretty but are pollinators and drought resistant? A few resources are: Xerces SocietyCalifornia Native Plant Society, and Calflora, Or try a native plant database for plants within your zip code. This website will help you find the best native plants specifically for your area that attract butterflies and moths and the birds that feed on their caterpillars, based on the scientific research of Dr. Douglas Tallamy and Research Assistant Kimberley Shropshire.


Browse the website to see all plants on the California Invasive Plant Council inventory, including both invasive plants and “watch” species. Clicking on the scientific name will take you to the Plant Profile where you will find links to more information on the plant.

Ask a Master Gardener

 Do you need help with your garden? Have a pest problem? Curious about what will grow well in your region? Ask a Master Gardener by email, and provide the following information to facilitate a prompt response:  

  1. Name
  2. City of residence/zip code
  3. Email
  4. Phone, best time to call
  5. Description of problem/ question -- for plant the type/age of plant, what damage/problem looks like (include location, sun exposure, irrigation type, fertilization, insecticide application)
  6. Please attach photos, if available (overall plant, views of pest, leaves, etc.)

Also, you can call our Helpline at (650) 276-7430 or visit a Master Gardener Helpline located in San Francisco, Redwood City, or Half Moon Bay. For address information and hours of operation, visit our website.

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