Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
August 27, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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August 27, 2014

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6B Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Plumas-Sierra Master Gardener tours offer techniques for vegetable production at high altitudes, along with fire-safe landscaping and more. Photo courtesy Linda DeWolf Master gardeners to host Plumas County harvest garden tours Mona Hill Plumas-Sierra Master Gardeners Plumas-Sierra Master Gardeners will sponsor three garden tours in September. The Indian and Genesee valleys tour is Sept. 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by Portola on Sept. 20, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The final tour, in American and Meadow valleys, is Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All the tours are free and open to the public. In addition to a demonstration of vegetable production above altitudes of 3,000 feet, tours include discussions and examples of fire-safe landscaping, water management in drought, understanding weeds and evaluating microclimates, as well as successful planting and harvesting techniques. Speakers, master gardeners and the host farmers will be available to answer participants' questions. During the last three years, California has been in extreme drought, even in Plumas County, and fire danger is very high. Fire-safe landscaping includes healthy plants and prevent them from becoming combustible. Weed management requires more than identification. Before buying or bringing in fertilizers, including manures, it's important to know information about the source to avoid introducing invasive weed seed. Pulling weeds is a noxious chore that is a waste of time if they have already gone to seed. Timing is everything, especially in weed eradication. Microclimate describes the smaller areas within a garden that differ fron the general climate; understanding yours is the key to a successful garden. For example, levels of heat and light that reflect from the wall of a house are higher than those of an area that is 20 - 30 feet from the house. A tree that provides cooler and shadier exposure to plants on a hot afternoon creates another type of microclimate. Long-range use of microclimate involves planting in east-west rows and facing south to maximize sunlight and heat absorption. requirements in the same beds also saves water and maximizes yield. Master gardeners will be on hand during the tours to field questions such as,-"Why do my squash blossoms rot and fall off before they set fruit?" Could it be there are no pollinators to harvest the pollen from the male flowers and deposit it on the female flower? Learn how to be the pollinator and to attract them to your garden. To join us for a garden tour near you, call 283-6572 by Sept. 10 to reserve a place on the tour. Space is limited. Carpooling is encouraged. Bring a lunch or stop at one of the local eateries during the lunch break. The tour is free, but tax-deductible donations to the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program are appreciated. The UC Master Gardener program provides the public with UC research-based information about home horticulture, sustainable landscape and pest management practices. It is chooslrig-fire:resisfai(p]--(i_&_ ..... -Phntirig an harvesting administered by local UCCE ivy andice'plat):'"dl' .... '":t''c'|qUes'fnc]fi"si'ng  ..... ounty0ffices that arettie ......... maintaining fuels clearance areas indoors for tomato plants eight to principal outreach and public of greater than 30 feet from 10 weeks before transplanting to service arms of the university's buildings. Plant spacing and the garden. Planting vegetables division of agriculture and adequate irrigation maintain with the same water natural resources. Advertisin,00 works! UNIVERSAL ELECTRIC 530-256-2420 CHESTER LAKE ALMANOR • CA Lm #840585 Ian Upton, Owner The phone keeps ringing and I've gotten a lot of new clients, thanks to my ad in the Plumas-Lassen Connection phone book. I appreciate all the business I get from my ad in the Plumas-Lassen Connection phone book! ,..UNIVERSAL E LECTRIC Ohester/Lake Alma.or Thank you Feather Publishing Co., Inc! Ian Upton, Owner UNIVERSAL ELECTRIC / 287 Lawrence Street, Quincy, CA , 135 Main Street Chester, CA 283-0800 258-3115 . 258-3115 - .  Westwood PinePress " Lm.ulm P.O. Box 790, Westwood, CA 100 Grand Ave., Susanville, CA 96 E. Sierra (Hwy 70), Portola, CA 258-3115 257-5321 832-4646 Gardeners must make do with less water in drought Master Gardener GARDENING WITH ALTITUDE California is in its driest year since 1976, and it's vital to manage water use. Home landscapes and gardens use about 70 percent of a household's water budget. In drought situations, prioritize water usage. Gradually reduce the amoimt of water to help lawn, trees and plants adjust to less water. In a severe drought, a home gardener faces hard choices; see the list of water saving tips accompanying this column. Traditional landscaping A lawn is usually the single largest water consumer in the home landscape and is often underntilized, requiring considerable resources to maintain. Use turf only whenit serves a purpose. When water is limited, most people choose to water fruit trees, ornamental trees and shrubs. Homeowners can re-establish lawns, groundcovei's and bedding plants in a relatively short time, but trees and shrubs.need years to mature and are less easily replaced. Deciduous fruit trees need adequate water in their root zones from bloom until harvest. One or two deep irrigations with a garden hose several weeks apart in spring and summer will often keep trees alive through summer, especially if roots are relatively deep. They may wilt or drop leaves, but will usually survive. Deep watering in the early spring will keep trees already there. Combine plants with similar water requirements. Called hydro zoning, grouping ensures particular plants receive the right amount of water. A nursery-grown plant requires two years or more to acquire the drought tolerant characteristics of its wild counterpart. Root systems, once out of the nursery container, need to spread out and travel deep enough to support a plant in its new location, requiring Dry landscaping Xeriscapes emphasize water conservation and use slow-growing, drought-tolerant plants. The goal is to find a way to have a beautiful, useable and inviting landscape while decreasing water use. It isn't necessary to remove existing plants and replace them with pavers, boulders and driftwood; think about xeriscaping as you create or re-create your outdoor living space. A xeriscape could be a specific habitat, using plants native to your area or finding other drought-tolerant plants from similar climates. One possibility is to remove all or part of a lawn, replacing it with beds that include California native plants or other drought-tolerant species. The strategy is to use plants that are already adapted to our climate and will thrive on our rainfall patterns. Once established, these plants generally require no additional water in the summer and limited care in the winter. Add new and drought-tolerant species to enhance what's alive, but reduce fruit prpctl.'on. ..... ..... ,. timean d irrigation. As theplant ; becomeS more established, cut back and eventually phase out irrigation. If you install a new xeriscape, prepare the soil. If necessary, rototill to break up any hardpan. Add compost to increase moisture retention and decrease runoff. Install an irrigation system before planting. Drip irrigation is preferred for xeriscapes and there are two types of systems: low-pressure drip irrigation or a gridded emitter system. A grid layout has emitters every 12 inches throughout the landscape in a grid pattern. Grids deliver water evenly Over the entire planting area and make it easy to add plants. However, you might water areas where nothing grows. Low-pressure systems deliver water to the root zones, but have to be updated with new plants and plant growth. There's no wasted water because they target water delivery. Laid out on top of the soil, mulch 3 - 4 inches deep will conserve water. Mulch also shades the soft and prevents weeds that compete for the limited water in xeriscape design. Choose mulch to fit the plants. Gravel works well with desert plants or plants not prone to rot. Wood is best for plants that need a.bit more moisture. Choosing the right plants is • the key to xeriscape success. Purchase plants locally; they generally adapt more quickly. There are many California native plant books available to help you determine the best specimens. The "Sunset Western Garden Book" has SectiS oh estern natives arid : plants for dry areas. Visit the University of California's Garden Web,, for more information and dowrdoadable publications about water management, xeriscapes and drought. If you have questions or need advice, email Plumas-Sierra Master Gardeners at or call 283-6572. Master Gardeners Linda DeWolf and Susan Payne contributed to this month's column. Erin Roth, not Erin Rutherford, contributed to last month's column. The University of California Master Gardener Program provides the public with UC research-based information about home horticulture, sustainable landscape and pest management practices. It is administered by local University of California Cooperative Extension county offices that are the principal outreach and public service arms of the university's division of agriculture and natural resources. Fix Your CAT for Less! The "Big Fix for Cats" We are offering Plumas County residents affordable spay or neuter for owned companion pets for a small administrative fee of just $5 per cat. Surgeries provided by Plumas County Veterinarians when presented with vouchers from the Spay & Neuter Collaboration. Applications are available at the following locations: Quincy Portola • Pet Country • HS Animal • Quincy Natural Rescue Foods • PSREC • Cornerstone • Plumas Bank Learning Ctr • Leonard's Market ° Quincy Hot Spot • Plumas Ace • American Valley Hardware Vet • Plumas Vet • Papa Murphey's Services Pizza • Portola City • PC Animal Offices Services -PAWS • Friends of Graeagle Indian Valley Chester • The Mill Works - Evergreen • Treat Dog Co. • Howling Dogs Market • ABC Center ° Graeagle Store • Young's Market • Plumas Bank • Graeagle Fire • Hunter Ace • Nelson Dept. Hardware Veterinary • Indian Creek • Chester Veterinary Veterinary t For more Information call: High Sierra Animal Rescue (530)832-4727 1 Plumas County Animal Services (530)283-5433| riends of Plumas County Animals (530)927-9485 I . City of Portola (530)832-4216 J Plumas County l_A1 . Animals .,1   In collaboration with Plumas County Affordable Spa]/& Neuter is funded through private donations in addition to a grant from PetSmart Charities@. The program is the result of the Plumas Count]/Collaboration for Responsible Pet Ownership, a partnership of the following agencies: Plumas Animal Weffare Socie4, High Sierra Animal Rescue, FHends of Plum$ County Animals an Plumas County Animal ervives. i ',