Master Gardener Monthly Newsletter

March 2024

Featured Articles

Spring Garden Market and Educational Fair -- Save the Date!

San Mateo County Event Center, Redwood Hall

2495 South Delaware Street, San Mateo, CA

Free Admission • Free Parking • Pay by Credit Card, Cash or Check

April 13, 2024, 9:00am-1:00pm

Stay tuned to hear more about the great plants and educational activities planned for the 2024 Spring Garden Market. See the Spring Garden Market webpage for details. 

Starting from Scratch: The Miracle of Seeds

Some seeds can be sown directly into the ground, but others benefit from a gentler, more controlled beginning and now is the perfect time to get started. If the rows of colorful seed packets are enticing but the idea of growing anything from seed seems daunting, fear not. Read more.

Upcoming Events

Checklists for


UC Master Gardeners

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

Plant Clinic at the San Mateo Arboretum

UC Master Gardeners

San Mateo Arboretum in Central Park

101 9th Avenue

San Mateo, CA 94401

March 3, 2024, 12:00pm-3:00pm

Come anytime for this walk-in plant clinic. UC 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 is required.

Installing a Drip Irrigation System in Your Home Garden

UC Master Gardeners

Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center

1500 Purisima Creek Road

Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

March 4, 2024, 1:30pm-3:00pm

Learn the correct way to install a sprinkler and drip irrigation system. In addition, you will learn the names and purposes of the “what-cha-ma-call-its" and the "do-hickies” that are used in an irrigation system. Registration is required.

Filler-Spiller-Thriller: How to Create Lush Container Gardens

UC Master Gardeners

Via Zoom

March 9, 2024, 2:00pm-3:30pm

In this online class, you will learn how to use the filler, spiller, thriller method of container planting. Create a gorgeous container garden that will carry you through spring, summer and fall. This workshop is geared towards all levels of gardening, from the very beginner to the experienced. Learn how to create planters overflowing with colorful flowers, herbs and trailing plants and how to refresh them after planting as the seasons change. Registration is required.

Art and Science of Succulents

UC Master Gardeners

San Francisco Public Library

Richmond Branch

351 9th Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94118

March 9, 2024, 2:00pm-3:30pm

Come and explore the beautiful world of succulents. UC Master Gardeners will explain the science of growing succulents, including planting location, soil mixes and amendments, water, light, repotting and propagation, diseases and pests, and horticultural forms and oddities. They will also discuss the characteristics of some of the more common succulent genera including Sedum, Euphorbia, Aeonium, Echeveria, Cotyledon, Crassula, Kalanchoe, Agave, Haworthia, and Aloe. And finally, examples of the use of color, succulents in containers, and art displays and ideas will be shared. Registration is not required.

Homegrown Herbs Made Easy

UC Master Gardeners

San Francisco Public Library

Mission Bay Branch

960 4th Street

San Francisco, CA 94158

March 10, 2024, 2:00pm-3:30pm

Join us to learn the basics of growing and enjoying herbs in your home garden. We’ll talk about herbs throughout history, in the wild, as pollinator plants, in the landscape, and in the kitchen. Selected herbs will be highlighted and discussed in depth. Plus we’ll share tips on cultivation, propagation, storage methods, preparation, and preservation. Registration is not required.

After Pruning Roses- What's Next

UC Master Gardeners

Lyngso Building Materials

Via Zoom

March 13, 2024,1:00pm-3:00pm

You pruned your roses, or maybe your gardener did. What now? Be safe in the garden, protect yourself from thorns (officially, prickles). Open the center to air and light, shape and train plants, provide nutrition, manage pests and diseases via IPM, mulch and water when needed. Get beautiful roses starting in April and continuing through fall. Registration is required.

School Garden Leaders Workshop

UC Master Gardeners

Garfield Elementary School

420 Filbert Street

San Francisco, CA 94113

March 16, 2024, 9:00am-12:00pm

Learn and share ideas at our spring workshop which will be held at Garfield Elementary School in San Francisco and you will have an opportunity to visit their gardens. Topics include how to use a hydroponic tower at school, planning garden lesson curriculum, grade level lesson example, and setting up a worm bin. A workshop fee donation of $30.00 is requested to support the UC Master Gardener Program and use of the school facility. Registration deadline is March 13, 2024, at 8:00pm. Registration is required.

Divisadero Farmers' Market

UC Master Gardners

San Francisco DMV Parking Lot

1377 Fell Street

San Francisco, CA 94117

March 17, 2024, 9:00am-1:00pm

Please visit the UC Master Gardener education table at the Divisadero Farmers' Market. Master Gardener volunteers will be available every third Sunday to answer questions regarding plants, planting techniques, garden pests and more. No registration is required.

How to Start a Vegetable Garden

UC Master Gardeners

Collective Roots Community Garden

1785 Woodland Avenue

East Palo Alto, CA 94303

April 6, 2024, 10:00am-11:30am

Join us for this hands-on beginner workshop to learn how to start a home vegetable garden. We'll introduce a broad range of topics such as soil health, compost as an organic fertilizer, crop planning, direct seeding and seedlings, and maintenance items. We will also do some hands-on seeding and planting out of seedlings. Registration is required.

Our Mission Statement

Our Mission Statement is 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 WebsiteFacebook, Instagram, Threads, X, and YouTube.

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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