Master Gardener Monthly Newsletter

July 2023

Elkus Ranch Environmental Center Reopens!

After much delay, we are pleased to report that the Elkus Ranch access bridge repair project has finally been completed and programs have resumed. The Elkus Ranch bridge and water pumping station washed away due to flooding from Purisima Creek water the morning of December 31, 2023. Bridge construction commenced on May 29, 2023, and was completed on June 2, 2023. The mission of University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) San Mateo/San Francisco and Elkus Ranch is to serve the diverse needs of residents through the creation, development, and extension of knowledge in agriculture, natural resources, and human resources. Elkus Ranch hosts more than 9,000 youth and adults each year from all over the San Francisco Bay area including: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties. Elkus Ranch invites all children to explore the wonders of this outdoor classroom. The Ranch offers a myriad of educational programs and activities for children of all ages and ethnicities. Individuals and groups participate in day and overnight field trips, community service projects, internships and volunteer opportunities. Read more.

Upcoming Events

Garden June/July/August Checklists

UC Master Gardeners

Find information for the current season, or view other seasonal checklists using the left panel of our main website.

Vegetable Gardening in Containers

Flowercraft Garden Center

550 Bayshore Boulevard

San Francisco, CA 94124

July 8, 2023, 10:00am-11:00am

Learn to grow a variety of vegetables, herbs and even fruit using containers. This talk is perfect for anyone, even those with a small outdoor space. You will learn about the types of containers to use, microclimates, soil needs and watering options. No registration required

Master Gardener Information Table at Mission Bay Library Open House

UC Master Gardeners

San Francisco Public Library, Mission Bay Library

960 4th Street

San Francisco, CA 94158

July 8, 2023, 10:00am-2:00pm

UC Master Gardeners of San Mateo and San Francisco Counties will staff an information table at the Mission Bay Library community open house. Stop by to learn about the Master Gardener organization and the range of gardening resources available, as well as to get answers to your plant questions. No registration required.

Plant Clinic at the San Mateo Arboretum

UC Master Gardeners

San Mateo Arboretum in Central Park

101 9th Avenue

San Mateo, CA 94401

July 9, 2023, 12:00pm-3:00pm

Master Gardeners will be available to answer your questions from general information to advice about specific problems. Bring samples of your problem plants in clear plastics bags for better diagnosis. If you suspect insect damage, try to include some of the insects so they can be correctly identified. No registration required.

Growing Terrific Tomatoes from Seed to Salsa

UC Master Gardeners

Lyngso Garden Materials

Zoom presentation

July 12, 2023, 1:00pm-3:00pm

Join us to learn everything tomato starting from the seed to the seedling, when to plant out your tomatoes, how to prune them, how to trellis them and what to do when things go sideways, and growing them for flavor, not watery blobs. Learn which varieties are best for your climate, how to increase yield, and how to reduce disease. Registration required.

Walking Tour Laurel Street Container Garden

Wells Fargo Bank Building

632 Laurel Street

San Carlos, CA 94070

July 19, 2023, 10:00am-11:30am

Join Master Gardeners for a free educational walking tour of the 25 round plant containers along Laurel Street in San Carlos. Learn how we selected the wide variety of beautiful plants, and how to plant and care for them given their location and sun exposure. Each tour is limited to eight people. We suggest wearing a hat and comfortable shoes, and bringing water. Registration required.

All About Herbs and Edible Flowers

San Mateo County Event Center

UC Master Gardener Gardening Education Center

2495 South Delaware Street

San Mateo, CA 94403

July 22, 2023, 11:00am-12:30pm

Discover or renew a new gardening excitement, and learn the basics of growing, harvesting and using culinary herbs and edible flowers. Propagate your plants from seeds, cuttings, transplants and divisions. Integrate your herbs and edible flowers in your native landscapes, vegetable gardens and containers. Maintain your plants with sustainable methods, and harvest your herbs to use them fresh or preserve them for future use. Let’s have fun while sharing the many ideas for using herbs. Registration required.

Herbs from Around the World

San Carlos Library Herb Garden

610 Elm Street

San Carlos, CA 94070

July 29, 2023 ,10:30am-11:30am

Learn about herbs from around the world, with a focus on four herbs: basil, sage, rosemary, and lemon verbena. You will learn the origins of these herbs, how to care for them, and how they are used in their native countries as well as in the United States. There will be free samples of many of these herbs. No registration required.

East Palo Alto Community Farmers' Market

2555 Pulgas Avenue

East Palo Alto, CA 94303

July 5, 2023, 9:00am-1:00pm

Every week the East Palo Alto Community Farmers’ Market creates opportunities for stronger relationships between the people of their community, the farmers who produce our food, and community-serving organizations. Visit the Master Gardener information table for answers to your plant questions and about the Master Gardener program. No registration required. Read more.

Divisadero Farmers Market

1377 Fell Street

San Francisco, CA 94117

Sundays Year-Round, 9:00am-1:00pm

The Divisadero Farmers Market sees close to 1,000 visitors annually on the 3rd Sunday of each month. Find citrus, winter greens, root veggies, Brussels sprouts, and more. Watch for spring onions, peas, fava beans, and other spring arrivals. Visit the Master Gardener information table for answers to your plant questions and about the Master Gardener program. Street parking available; for public transportation visit the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency website. Visit the Divisadero Farmers Market website for more information. Read more.

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

 UC Master Gardener volunteers are ready help you and your garden. Have a question about gardening? Have a pest problem? Curious about what will grow well in your region? Submit your inquiry online.

Or visit the Master Gardener Helpline by phone, email, on the web, or in person. For more information visit our website.

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