Home Gardening/Landscape - General Publications
Full title: A Garden of Words/Un jardín de palabras: A Bilingual Gardening Dictionary for Elementary Schools and After-School Gardening Programs/Un diccionario bilingüe de jardinería para escuelas primarias y programas de jardinería extraescolares.
This series of handy guides for the home orchard gives a quick overview of major tasks that should be undertaken during the winter dormant, spring bloom, summer growing and harvest, and autumn seasons. This guide is for almonds.
Annual bluegrass is one of the most common weeds of turf, ornamental plantings, and gardens in the United States. Commonly referred to as "Poa," it is a particular problem in golf course greens and fairways.
Ants are among the most prevalent pests in households. They are also found in restaurants, hospitals, offices, warehouses, and other buildings where they can find food and water. On outdoor (and sometimes indoor) plants, ants protect and care for honeydew-producing insects such as aphids, soft scales, whiteflies, and mealybugs, increasing damage from these pests. Ants also perform many useful functions in the environment, such as feeding on other pests (e.g., fleas, caterpillars, termites), dead insects, and decomposing tissue from dead animals. Also available in Spanish through http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu.
Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects with long, slender mouth parts that they use to pierce stems, leaves, and other tender plant parts and suck out plant fluids. Low to moderate numbers of aphids are usually not damaging in gardens or on trees, but large populations can cause curling, yellowing, and distortion of leaves and stunting of shoots; they can also produce large quantities honeydew, which often turns black with the growth of a sooty mold fungus.
This series of handy guides for the home orchard gives a quick overview of major tasks that should be undertaken during the winter dormant, spring bloom, summer growing and harvest, and autumn seasons. This guide is for apples and pears.
This series of handy guides for the home orchard gives a quick overview of major tasks that should be undertaken during the winter dormant, spring bloom, summer growing and harvest, and autumn seasons. This guide is for apricots.
California Master Gardener Tip Sheet. A water garden can be a beautiful thing, but you need to avoid growing invasive water plants that can spread into natural waterways. Three mini-posters, five pages of text, plus links to useful resources.
Bark beetles, family Scolytidae, are common pests of conifers and some attack broadleaf trees. The most common species infesting pines in California are the western pine beetle (Dendroctonus brevicomis), engraver beetles (Ips spp.), and the red turpentine beetle (Dendroctonus valens). The species of tree attacked and the location of damage on the bark help in identifying the bark beetle species present.
Bats help with insect pest control, but there is a down side: they can carry parasites harmful to people, as well as rabies and other diseases. Learn how to encourage bats to nest and fly where they'll do the most good, and not too close to humans.
Bed bugs are in the insect family Cimicidae and include three species that attack people. Of these, the most important is Cimex lectularius, which may also bite bats, birds, and rodents. Until recently, bed bug infestations were thought to be associated primarily with crowded and dilapidated housing. However, such infestations have undergone a resurgence and can be found even in the finest hotel and living accommodations. The reasons for the resurgence are not totally understood but appear to involve increased human travel, ease of movement of infested luggage and items, and changes in the pesticides available to control this pest.
Nearly everyone has been stung by an insect at one time or another. It is an unpleasant experience that people hope not to repeat, but for most people the damage inflicted is only temporary pain. Only a very limited portion of the population (one to two people out of 1,000) is allergic or hypersensitive to bee or wasp stings. This publication is about stings from bees and wasps, but the information also pertains to stings from fire ants as well.
Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) is a plant that is grown as a turfgrass or as forage for livestock, but it also can be an invasive weed. It was introduced from Africa (not Bermuda) in 1751 and is widely spread throughout the southwest and southern United States. It is found in most areas of California at elevations below 3,000 feet and is common in gardens, landscapes, turf areas, orchards, roadsides, vineyards, and industrial areas. Bermudagrass also has many other common names including couchgrass, devilgrass, wiregrass, or dogtooth grass.
Wild birds are common, hungry visitors to backyard fruit and nut trees. Almonds and early ripening cherries are among the hardest hit, but most home fruit and nut crops are vulnerable. Learn how to keep these feathered friends out of your food supply.
Western Black Widows and Brown Widows (in Southern California) thrive in cluttered, little-used areas around the home. Their bite causes numbness, sweats, and worse -- but there is a good antivenom. Best advice: Keep your garage and yard clutter-free.
Bordeaux mixture is an outstanding fungicide and bactericide that has been used for decades to control some diseases of tree fruits and nuts, vine fruits, and ornamentals. The ability of Bordeaux mixture to weather the fall, winter, and spring rains and to adhere to plants makes it an excellent choice for a winter fungicide.
It is often tempting, after eating a particularly good orange or avocado, to plant the seed and grow your own tree full of these delicious fruit. The best way to produce good-quality fruit is to grow seedlings from them and then attach, by budding or grafting, material from trees that are known to be good producers. Budding and grafting can also be used to change or add varieties to mature citrus or avocado trees, a process known as top working. This publication is a brief introduction to budding and grafting for the home gardener.
The California ground squirrel, Spermophilus beecheyi, is one of the most troublesome pests to homeowners and gardeners. It is found in nearly all regions of California except for the Owens Valley southward into the desert regions.
The California oakworm is one of many species of caterpillar that feed on oaks in California. Damage is most common on coast live oak in the San Francisco Bay area and Monterey Bay region; but outbreaks can occur in many parts of the state.
Catchweed bedstraw is a troublesome agricultural weed that also shows up in the garden, where it competes for water and nutrients. The tiny, curved hairs on stem and leaf help bedstraw to form a dense mat. Learn to identify and manage this weed.
This series of handy guides for the home orchard gives a quick overview of major tasks that should be undertaken during the winter dormant, spring bloom, summer growing and harvest, and autumn seasons. This guide is for cherries.
Two species of chickweed, common (Stellaria media) and sticky (Cerastium glomeratum), are widespread in California. Both are winter annuals that grow easily in gardens, low-maintenance lawns, and agricultural areas.
Clover can be a concern in turfgrass or landscaped areas for at least three reasons. First, during the flowering period bees are attracted to the clover blooms and people playing or using the turfgrass may be stung. Second, clovers reduce the uniformity of the turfgrass because its texture, color, and growth rate are different from that of grasses. And third, burclover has soft, spiny fruit that are objectionable when the burs mature; the burs are also a problem when they become attached to the fur of pets.
Common knotweed, also called wiregrass or doorweed, is an annual species most often found in compacted soils. It is particularly well adapted to the winter and early spring rainfall pattern throughout California.
Common purslane is a weedy summer annual species that invades gardens, low-maintenance lawns, ornamental plantings, commercial orchards, and vegetable crop production areas. It is particularly well adapted to the warm, moist conditions found in California’s irrigated agricultural and ornamental sites. Because of its ability to produce large numbers of seeds, common purslane can rapidly colonize any warm, moist site. A few scattered plants in the first year can become an almost solid carpet of purslane the following year.
Simple, straightforward tips to help you generate useable compost in as little as 2 or 3 weeks.
California Master Gardener Tip Sheet. The title says it: Composting is a good thing! Learn what to compost, how to manage your compost pile and how to use the finished product. Three mini-posters, four pages of text, plus links to useful resources.English edition of "El compostaje es bueno para su jardín y el medio ambiente" (Publication 8367s).
A cover crop is a noncash crop grown in the middles between tree rows and, in some situations, between trees within rows. Cover crops can provide many benefits in orchards and vineyards and have seen increasing use in recent years. This new handbook outlines a step-by-step process for success – including suggested cover crops, orchard factors to consider when choosing a cover crop, how and when to plant, and how to manage the cover crop. Note that this free downloadable release is an unaltered replacement of the for-sale 2006 print edition, Publication 21627.
Crabgrass is a common weed that almost everyone knows. (The "great philosopher" Pogo said, "Work is the crabgrass in life.") There are two species of crabgrass common in California: smooth crabgrass, Digitaria ischaemum, and large or hairy crabgrass, D. sanguinalis. Crabgrass is found in turfgrasses (mostly smooth crabgrass) and in ornamental landscapes (primarily large crabgrass). Large crabgrass is also found in orchards, vineyards, and other agricultural areas. Crabgrass also has many other names including crowfoot grass and summer grass.
Creeping woodsorrel, Oxalis corniculata, is a major weed in lawns, flower beds, nurseries, gardens, and greenhouses. A related species, Bermuda buttercup (O. pes-caprae) is grown as an ornamental. Once planted it spreads throughout a garden, competing with other plants.
Dallisgrass, Paspalum dilatatum, is a perennial grass that is found throughout California except at high elevations. It has been used as a pasture grass in wet areas or irrigated sites but is primarily a weed in turfgrass, wet roadside areas, irrigation ditchbanks, and in some orchards and vineyards. Dallisgrass creates an unsightly clump in turfgrass that can be a problem in golf courses, sports playing fields, and home landscapes. The stiff clump it forms is different in texture from the other grasses in a turfgrass mixture and can present a hazard in sports fields, causing people to fall.
Damping-off diseases affect vegetable crops worldwide. Learn the basic on how these fungal diseases spread and what you can do to stop them.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), also known as lion’s tooth, puffball, blowball, and monk’s head, is a major problem in turf, ornamental plantings, meadows, pastures, and alfalfa. While used for centuries as a medicinal plant, dandelion can be a major weed problem for turf and ornamental managers. In turf, it forms clumps that cause poor footing for athletic fields and golf courses. Dandelion’s texture and color vary from that of normal turfgrass and the yellow flowers reduce the aesthetic quality of the turfgrass.
Plants may grow poorly for many reasons, and many of those may lie underground in the soil. Learn to identify a number of common soil problems so you can seek help to fix them. This is an unaltered scan of the 1976 print edition, now available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF document.
This is an unaltered scan of the 1979 print edition, now available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF document.
Dodder is a parasitic annual plant that infests many crops, ornamentals, native plants, and weeds. There are over 150 species found throughout the world. Some species are found on many crops including alfalfa, asparagus, melons, safflower, sugarbeet, and tomato.
The western drywood termite, Incisitermes minor, is California's second most important termite pest after the western subterranean termite. It is a native insect that has been here millions of years, mostly attacking trees along river washes and arroyos. In California drywood termites are most prevalent in southern California and the Central Valley but also can be found infesting wood along the coast, in bay areas south of San Francisco, and in the southern California desert.
Earwigs can seriously damage seedling vegetables, annual flowers, maturing soft fruit, and corn silks. However, they also have a beneficial role in the landscape and have been shown to be important predators of aphids.
A hedgerow is a border of trees, shrubs, perennial grasses, forbs, rushes, or sedges that surrounds a farm field and can reduce the effects of wind and water erosion, provide habitat for beneficial insects, and more. Find out if a hedgerow is right for your farm.
Longhorned borers are attracted to freshly cut wood, dying limbs, and trees suffering from stress, especially drought stress. The problem is exacerbated in California because many eucalyptus trees are growing in unmanaged or minimally managed environments with no supplemental irrigation. Eucalyptus species that naturally grow in wetter areas of Australia have been planted in California where they experience prolonged dry periods, which makes them susceptible to attack by these beetles.
Psyllids are plant-juice sucking homopterans in the insect family Psyllidae. Redgum lerp psyllid nymphs (immatures) form a cover called a "lerp," which is a small white, hemispherical cap composed of solidified honeydew and wax.
Here are some suggestions to help you maintain the freshness of your cut flowers, extend your enjoyment of the flowers, and stretch your flower-buying dollar a little farther.
Serpentine and related rocks sometimes contain naturally occurring asbestos (NOA). When these rocks break down into soil, the NOA comes with them, and that creates a health hazard. Learn to recognize serpentine soils and keep health risks to a minimum.
False chinch bug, Nysius raphanus (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae), is common in the landscape and in most years only causes harm to seedlings. Plants wilt but will rarely die from the attack. At times larger numbers of the pest can kill young fruit or nut trees. Learn to identify and manage this pest.
Advice on determining what nutrients your landscape tree needs and how to to apply them.
Field bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis, is a native of Eurasia and was first documented in California in 1884 when it was collected in San Diego. By the first quarter of the twentieth century, field bindweed was proclaimed the worst weed in California and many of the western states. Field bindweed has been given many names including perennial morning glory, creeping jenny, bellbine, sheep-bine, and corn-bind.
Of the thousands of species of flies, only a few are common pests in and around the home. These pests breed in animal wastes and decaying organic material from which they can pick up bacteria and viruses that may cause human diseases.
California Master Gardener Tip Sheet. Food poisoning can start anywhere -- from a big commercial processor or grower to your own vegetable garden. Learn some simple ways to keep your home-grown food as safe as it is delicious!English edition of "La seguridad alimentaria en su huerto familiar" (Publication 8366s).
Pitch canker can kill branches on Monterey pines, and sometimes kills the entire tree. Use the color photos in this electronic publication to identify pitch canker, and learn what you can do to check its spread.
Basics of cold-weather protection for citrus, avocado, guava, loquat, and other subtropical fruit and nut trees.
Lower elevations of the Sierra Nevada have climate, soil, and drainage characteristics that make ideal growing conditions for certain fruit and nut tree varieties -- and less so for others. Use this guide to choose the best trees for your home orchard!
Learn how to plant, prune, and care for bare-root or countainer-grown fruit trees.
How to rehabilitate that overgrown, untended fruit tree, or decide whether it's worth the effort.
When you reduce the number of young fruit on a tree early in the season, you improve the quality of the remaining fruit at harvest time.
How to prune fruit and nut trees for optimum health and productivity.
Full Title: Fungus Gnats, Shore Flies, Moth Flies, and March Flies: Pest Notes for Home and Landscape. Fungus gnats, shore flies, moth flies, and March flies occur around damp, decaying vegetation, algae, and fungi. These flies can appear in large numbers in or around buildings and also can be a problem in greenhouses, nurseries, and interior plantscapes.
Grasshoppers are sporadic pests in gardens. However, in some years large populations may build up in foothills and rangelands, especially after a wet spring and then migrate into nearby gardens, often defoliating everything in sight. Over 200 species of grasshoppers occur in California, but only a few of these cause significant problems in gardens.
Green kyllinga (Kyllinga brevifolia) is a weedy sedge that can be a major weed problem for turfgrass and landscape managers. In turf it forms a weak sod that gives poor footing for athletic fields and golf courses.
How to grow edible sprouts at home while avoiding food safety hazards.
Tomatoes are among the most popular vegetables grown in home gardens. They also prompt frequent cultural and pest management questions; many problems can be avoided by planting disease-resistant varieties that are well adapted for your growing area.
Full Title: Harvesting and Storing Your Home Orchard's Nut Crop: Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Pistachios, & Chestnuts. The quality and quantity of your home orchard’s nut crop depend on the harvesting, handling, and storage methods that you use. This publication offers some handy advice.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter cacti bloom from late fall through spring, providing vibrant color at a time of year when few other houseplants look their best. Learn how your holiday cacti can thrive and provide a brilliant show of color.
Full Title: Home Gardens and Lead: What You Should Know about Growing Plants in Lead-Contaminated Soil Lead is a heavy metal that occurs in all soils but can reach hazardous levels in some soils as a result of leaded-fuel exhaust, industrial wastes and other causes. Learn how to test your soil for safety and see what you can do if lead levels run too high.
Incorporating fire safe concepts into your landscape is one of the most important ways you can help your home survive a wildfire. Through proper planning, you can have both a beautiful landscape and a fire safe home. Learn how to establish and maintain a "defensible space" around your home in areas that are susceptible to wildfire.
Full title: Home Survival in Wildfire-Prone Areas: Building Materials and Design Considerations It's like the three little pigs showed us: The way you build your house can make the difference between a cozy home and a heap of rubble when disaster strikes. Learn about design methods and building materials that will help your home survive a wildfire.
The hoplia beetle, Hoplia callipyge (family Scarabaeidae), is a common pest of roses and other plants in many parts of California, especially the Central Valley. Because it has just one generation a year, it is a problem only from late March to May when the adult beetles feed on light-colored blossoms.
Horsehair worms belong to the phylum Nematomorpha (from the Greek meaning "thread-shaped"), class Gordioida. They are also called Gordian worms because they will often twist into a loose, ball-shaped knot resembling the baffling one created by Gordius in the Greek myth. They occur in water sources such as ponds, rain puddles, swimming pools, animal drinking troughs, and even domestic water supplies.
The house mouse is one of the most troublesome rodents in the United States. They thrive under a variety of conditions; are found in and around homes and commercial structures as well as in open fields and agricultural lands. House mice consume and contaminate food meant for humans, pets, livestock, or other animals. In addition, they cause considerable damage to structures and property, and they can transmit pathogens that cause diseases such as salmonellosis, a form of food poisoning.
California Master Gardener Tip Sheet. When a tree loses a limb -- or worse -- in a storm, it can cause property damage, injury, and even death. Here are some tips to help you recognize weak limbs and other trouble spots before anyone gets hurt. English edition of "Inspeccione los árboles del jardín para ver si hay peligros" (Publication 8365s).
Native plants of California's chaparral are adapted to natural wildfire, re-establishing within a few years after a fire. Non-native plants can upset this balance and allow wildfires to recur too soon. Learn to recognize and control these problem plants.
Invasive plants are a distinct group of weeds that occur in natural habitats. This Pest Note shows how invasive plants differ from common garden and agricultural weeds and discusses their occurrence, impact, spread, and management.
Full Title: Key Points of Control and Management for Microbial Food Safety: Edible Landscape Plants and Home Garden Produce. Most fruit and vegetables that we eat from our home gardens are wholesome and disease-free, but it takes some work and attention to keep it that way. Here are some basic steps to remember.
Kikuyugrass (Pennisetum clandestinum) is an extremely aggressive perennial weed of turfgrass, ornamental plantings, orchards, and noncrop areas in California. It is well adapted to warm, temperate climates such as those of the coast and inland valleys of southern and central California. Kikuyugrass was originally imported to California around 1918 as a ground cover to reduce erosion on ditchbanks. With its rapid stolon growth and thatch formation, it quickly moved from these sites and became a serious weed pest. In the past kikuyugrass was often confused with St. Augustinegrass and may have been mistakenly propagated and planted in its place.
You can have both a beautiful landscape and a defensible fire-safe zone (minimum 100 feet) around your rural home. Get the basics on what you can do for fire prevention, plus helpful Internet links and a 3-part poster in this publication.
Lavender is a delightful and useful garden plant. It can be used as a drought-tolerant low hedge, a specimen plant, a cut flower, and an herb that provides a fragrant addition to many herbal projects.
Maintaining a healthy lawn is the best way to prevent a disease outbreak in a turfgrass. 75 to 85% of common lawn diseases can be avoided by optimizing practices to avoid stressed grass, which is more susceptible to disease outbreaks.
Insects are not a common cause of residential lawn damage in California, but certain species occasionally damage or kill turfgrass. Insect feeding can cause grass to turn yellow or brown, or die, especially if the grass is already stressed. Before taking any insect control action, be sure that it is insects causing the problem and not something else.
A straightforward method to help homeowners set up timed irrigation systems for lawns anywhere in California.
If you feel you have to choose between your best friend and your lawn, you are not alone. This brief guide will help you have both a green lawn and a (ahem) relieved dog!
The oak tree is a symbol of all that is solid and reliable, but without proper care and stewardship an oak can be just as fragile as any part of a rangeland ecosystem. Learn how to keep your oak trees healthy so they can benefit generations to come.
Lyme disease is a potentially debilitating and sometimes chronic infection transmitted to humans and other animals by certain ticks. Of the 48 tick species found in California, the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus, is the only tick thought to be responsible for transmitting the bacterium that causes the disease to people.
Weedy mallow plants are found growing widely in California. Although some of the wild mallow species can be eaten, mallows are less than desirable when found growing in crop fields, orchards, lawns, gardens, and landscapes.
Helpful tips for both homeowners and commercial landscapers.
Turfgrass generally does not do well on heavy, clay soils, but there are some basic steps you can take to improve its chances.
With long, hot, dry summers common to most areas of the state, California lawns generally need watering for much of the year. Learn how to use water more efficiently as water demands and costs go up and drought conditions continue.
Millipedes and centipedes are often seen in and around gardens and may be found wandering into homes. Unlike insects, which have three clearly defined body sections and three pairs of legs, they have numerous body segments and numerous legs.
Identification, life cycle, damage, and management of this evergreen parasitic plant that grows on a number of landscape tree species in California.
Moles live underground in a network of shallow tunnels where they capture worms, insects, and other invertebrates. Their burrowing can dislodge plants and dry out their roots; in lawn areas the resulting mounds and ridges are unsightly and disfiguring.
There are several species of mosquitoes in California that readily attack people, and some species are capable of transmitting microbial organisms that cause human diseases such as malaria and encephalitis.
Grass clippings make up a surprisingly large portion of California’s solid waste stream during the growing season. Learn how to properly mow your lawn, how to “grasscycle” the clippings, mower safety tips and more.
Mushrooms, sometimes called toadstools, are the reproductive (fruiting) structures of some kinds of fungi. This publication covers mushroom-producing fungi that are lawn management or nuisance problems but do not necessarily cause lawn diseases. This is a
Learn how to identify plants that are native to your area, along with the advantages of growing native plants in your garden such as lower irrigation needs, better resistance to native pests, and a better fit with native wildlife and the local climate.
Nematodes are microscopic, eel-like roundworms. The most troublesome species in the garden are those that feed on plant roots. They are difficult to control and can be spread easily from garden to garden in soil and plant parts.
Here's an environmentally friendly, low-maintenance way to get a "grassy" groundcover in your landscape. Winner of the American Society for Horticultural Science 2010 Outstanding Extension Division Educational Materials Award.
For almonds, chestnuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Nuts are delicious and they are good for you. Here are some simple handling and storage tips you can follow to keep them good to eat and prevent rancidity or the growth of bacteria that have the potential to cause illness.
For almonds, chestnuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Nuts are delicious and good for you, and many Californians can grow them at home. Here are some simple harvest, handling, and storage tips you can follow to get the most out of your home nut orchard.
Nutsedges are common weeds in landscapes and gardens in the coastal valleys, Central Valley, and southern areas of California. They thrive in waterlogged soil and their presence often indicates that drainage is poor, irrigation is too frequent, or sprinklers are leaky. They are a problem in the lawn because they grow faster, have a more upright growth habit, and are lighter green in color than most grass species, resulting in a nonuniform turf. In gardens and landscapes, nutsedges will emerge through bark or rock mulches in shrub plantings and vegetable and flower beds throughout the growing season.
Olive knot is a bacteria-caused disease that kills affected twigs while giving an off-flavor to all the olives on a tree. Learn how to recognize the characteristic galls and keep the disease from spreading.
Several major diseases can attack palm trees in California. Some come on gradually; others (like Sudden Crown Drop) are catastrophic. Learn to plant the right palm in the right place and then use an IPM approach to monitor and prevent potential disease.
Stored-product pests are usually brought into the home in an infested package of food. The most common insects infesting food in the home are meal moths or pantry beetles.
Freezing temperatures can have a devastating effect on tree and vine crop production, if they occur during critical developmental periods. Proper management of your orchard or vineyard before a frost night can minimize potential damage. These management practices, before a frost night, are called "passive protection."This is an unaltered scan of the 1987 print edition, now available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF document.
This series of handy guides for the home orchard gives a quick overview of major tasks that should be undertaken during the winter dormant, spring bloom, summer growing and harvest, and autumn seasons. This guide is for peaches and nectarines.
Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) is invasive throughout the western United States. Recent surveys identify perennial pepperweed as a weed problem in nearly all of California, and both the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC) list it as a noxious weed of greatest ecological concern.
This series of handy guides for the home orchard gives a quick overview of major tasks that should be undertaken during the winter dormant, spring bloom, summer growing and harvest, and autumn seasons. This guide is for pistachios.
Broadleaf and buckhorn plantain are major weeds of turf, ornamentals, gardens, waste areas, forage legumes, and pastures. Broadleaf plantain is also known as common plantain and dooryard plantain; buckhorn plantain as narrow-leaf plantain, ribwart plantain, English plantain, and ribgrass.
Learn the basics of planting and caring for a new landscape tree.
This series of handy guides for the home orchard gives a quick overview of major tasks that should be undertaken during the winter dormant, spring bloom, summer growing and harvest, and autumn seasons. This guide is for plums.
Pocket gophers (Thomomys spp.) are burrowing rodents often invade yards and gardens, and feed on many garden crops, ornamental plants, vines, shrubs, and trees. A single gopher moving down a garden row can inflict considerable damage in a very short time. Gophers also gnaw and damage plastic water lines and lawn sprinkler systems. Their tunnels can divert and carry off irrigation water and lead to soil erosion. Mounds on lawns interfere with mowing equipment and ruin the aesthetics of well-kept turfgrass.
Poison oak or western poison oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum, is native to western North America, with a distribution extending from British Columbia south to the Baja California peninsula. Contact with poison oak leaves or stems at any time of the year can cause an allergic response.
Powdery mildew is a common disease on many types of plants. Powdery mildew fungi generally do not require moist conditions to establish and grow, and normally do well in warm climates. Thus they are more prevalent than many other diseases in California's dry summer weather. It can be serious on woody species such as grapevines, caneberries, and fruit trees where it attacks new growth including buds, shoots, and flowers as well as leaves.
Powdery mildew can be recognized easily on most plants by the white, powdery mycelial and spore growth that forms on both surfaces of leaves, sometimes on flowers and fruits, and on shoots. This disease can be serious on woody species such as rose, crape myrtle, and sycamore where it attacks new growth including buds, shoots, and flowers as well as leaves.
A wide variety of vegetable crops are affected by powdery mildews, including artichoke, beans, beets, carrot, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, melons, parsnips, peas, peppers, pumpkins, radicchio, radishes, squash, tomatillo, tomatoes, and turnips. Leaves infected with powdery mildew may gradually turn completely yellow, die, and fall off, which may expose fruit to sunburn. Severely infected plants may have reduced yields, shortened production times, and fruit that has little flavor.
Proper fertilization is an important part of effective lawn care. This publication will answer your basic questions and help you establish a fertilization plan.
Sudden oak death, caused by Phytophthora ramorum infection, has killed over a million oak trees in California. Most infected trees do die of the disease, but this publication gives some steps you can take to prevent infection in the first place.
Psyllids resemble miniature cicadas and are sometimes called jumping plantlice. Over 100 species occur on both native and introduced landscape plants in the United States, but each kind of psyllid feeds on only one plant species or closely related groups of plants. Most psyllids native to the United States are relatively uncommon and rarely become pests. Most pest psyllids in California are exotic species inadvertently introduced from other countries.
Rabbits are a form of wildlife enjoyed by many people but they can be very destructive to gardens and landscaped areas. Three species, the black-tailed hare or jackrabbit (Lepus californicus), the desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii), and the brush rabbit (S. bachmani) are widespread and cause the majority of problems in California. Because of its greater size and abundance, the jackrabbit is the most destructive.
Raccoons are omnivorous, eating both plants and animals. In urban settings, in addition to feeding on backyard fruits, nuts, and vegetables, they scavenge from garbage cans, compost piles, and pet food left outside overnight. Damage to gardens may be relatively minor compared to the potential damage a raccoon can do to a house.
Rats are some of the most troublesome and damaging rodents in the United States. They consume and contaminate food, damage structures and property, and transmit parasites and diseases to other animals and humans. Rats live and thrive under a wide variety of climates and conditions; they are often found in and around homes and other buildings, farms, gardens, and open fields. In California the most troublesome rats are two introduced species: the roof rat and the Norway rat.
This is an electronic version of publication 21603 (same title). Limited quantities are still available in printed form. This publication discusses issues that family forest landowners should consider following a wildfire in their forest. Includes information on how to protect your property from erosion damage, where to go for help and financial assistance, tax implications of fire losses, how to manage salvage harvesting, and how to help the forest recover.
The redhumped caterpillar, Schizura concinna, is found throughout much of California. Though the climate of the coastal regions usually does not favor development of destructive populations, it may be a serious problem in the warm Central Valley. Trees most commonly attacked are liquidambar (sweet gum), walnut, and plum, although it is also found on almond, apple, apricot, birch, cottonwood, cherry, pear, prune, redbud, willow, and others.
Through careful selection of plant varieties and management of environmental conditions with proper cultural practices, beautiful roses can be grown with a minimum of pest problems.
Full Title: Roses in the Garden and Landscape: Diseases and Abiotic Disorders: Pest Notes for Home and Landscape. A variety of plant pathogens may attack roses from time to time including powdery mildew, rust, black spot, botrytis, downy mildew, and anthracnose. In addition to diseases caused by bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens, roses may display similar symptoms that are the result of chemical toxicities, mineral deficiencies, or environmental problems. These are called abiotic disorders.
Roses are among the most intensively managed plants in many home landscapes. Part of this intensive management is the frequent application of pesticides. However, while insects and mites may attack roses from time to time, many rose enthusiasts are able to maintain vigorous plants and produce high quality blooms with little or no use of insecticides, especially in California's dry interior valleys.
For farmers, landowners, and land managers: How to maintain and repair existing roads in rural areas and how to plan and construct new rural roads.
Russian thistle, also known as tumbleweed, is in the goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae). Its scientific name is Salsola tragus. Russian thistle is primarily a weed in sites where the soil has been disturbed, such as along highways. It is also prevalent in vacant lots and other noncrop areas, in field and vegetable crops, and in poorly tended landscapes. It is rarely a problem in well-managed gardens or turfgrass.
How to keep food-poisoning bacteria out of your kitchen and off your plate.
Useful tips on propagating and growing these distinctive, palm-like trees in mild-winter regions.
Scale insects can be serious pests on trees, shrubs, and other perennials. The impact of infestations depends on the scale species, the plant species and cultivar, environmental factors, and natural enemies. Populations of some scales can increase dramatically within a few months, such as when honeydew-seeking ants or dusty conditions interfere with scale natural enemies. Plants are not harmed by a few scales, and even high populations of certain species apparently do not damage plants. Soft scales and some other species excrete honeydew, a sweet, sticky liquid produced by insects that ingest large quantities of plant sap. Sticky honeydew and the blackish sooty mold growing on honeydew can bother people even when scale populations are not harming plants.
Whether you want to raise chickens for eggs, meat, or show, you will find valuable, basic information in this publication.
Full title: Selecting Fruit, Nut, and Berry Crops for Home Gardens in San Mateo and San Francisco Counties. This publication is for gardeners in San Mateo and San Francisco counties. Use the handy tables to identify your climate zone, and then select varieties best suited for success in your area.
Wood used in water-intensive conditions such as the garden or waterways must be especially resistant to rot. This publication describes the materials available: naturally durable species, pressure treated lumber, and wood substitutes.
Learn to identify and control this common mite pest of plumeria (also called frangipani or lei flower), an increasingly popular ornamental in California gardens.
You've just moved from the city or suburbs to your dream home in the California foothills. You may have a lot of questions about rural living and your new environment. This publication will help you better understand the natural environment you now call home and how to keep your oak woodlands alive and healthy.
Snails and slugs are among the most bothersome pests in many gardens and landscapes. The brown garden snail (Helix aspersa) is the most common snail in California gardens; it was introduced from France during the 1850s for use as food.
Soil solarization is a simple, nonchemical method for controlling soilborne pests. By covering the soil with a clear plastic tarp, you trap radiant energy from sunlight heating the top 12 to 18 inches. This heat can eliminate a wide range of soilborne pests, such as weeds, pathogens, nematodes, and insects.
Mites are common pests in landscapes and gardens and can be found feeding on many fruit trees, vines, berries, vegetables, and ornamental plants. Although related to insects, mites are not insects but members of the arachnid class along with spiders and ticks. The spider mites, also called webspinning mites, are the most common mite pests.
Many people fear or dislike spiders but, for the most part, spiders are beneficial because of their role as predators of insects and other arthropods, and most cannot harm people. Spiders that might injure people, black widows for example, generally spend most of their time hidden under furniture or boxes, or in woodpiles, corners, or crevices. The spiders commonly seen out in the open during the day are unlikely to bite people.
Spotted spurge is a low-growing annual plant that often forms a dense mat. It has dark green, opposite leaves that are 1/8 to 1/2-inch long and about 1/8-inch wide. Leaves are usually marked with a red spot midway down the center leaf vein.
Squash bugs, Order Hemiptera, are common pests in vegetable gardens. Their specialized mouthparts let them pierce foliage and suck plant sap.
This classic publication from 1981 covers everything you need to know to get started with a small home goat operation including selection, shelter and space requirements, feeding, milking, breeding and kidding.This is an unaltered scan of the 1981 print edition, now available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF document.
If you have enough pasture or a drylot area, and zoning regulations allow you to do so, there are several advantages to raising your own beef. This is an unaltered scan of the 1979 print edition of this publication, now available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF document.
Sudden oak death is the name given to an epidemic, first detected in 1995, that affects three true oak species—coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), California black oak (Q. kelloggii), and Shreve oak (Q. parvula var. shrevei)—and tanbark oak (Lithocarpus densiflorus). A previously undescribed pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum, has been identified as the infectious agent.
A home cherry tree can supply your family with a good annual crop of delicious fruit. Learn how to take select the best tree for your area, plant it, and keep it healthy. This is an unaltered scan of the 1977 print edition, now available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF document.
Thrips, order Thysanoptera, are tiny, slender insects with fringed wings. They feed by puncturing their host plant or animal prey and sucking up exuding contents. Some are beneficial predators that feed on other insects and mites, others are pests that feed on plants and scar leaf, flower, or fruit surfaces. Many thrips species feed within buds and furled leaves or in other enclosed parts of the plant. Their damage is often observed before the thrips can be seen.
When gardening in serpentine soils, you need to avoid exposure to naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) and some heavy metals. Here are precautions you can take in the garden along with a list of trees and shrubs you can plant to help stabilize these soils.
Citrus trees add beauty to your garden and nutritious food to your table. This colorful guide helps you choose the right citrus for your garden: a familiar variety or something more adventurous. Oranges, grapefruit, kumquats, lemons, limes, and more!
Turfgrass species and varieties rated from best to worst for 14 different criteria involving climate, disease resistance, and intended use of the lawn.
Trees are a great benefit to the urban landscape, but it's important to choose a tree species that will contribute least to ozone pollution, particularly for a large-scale city planting. Learn what to look for in a desirable urban tree selection.
Lumber that has been pressure-treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) resists decay and is commonly used in gardens and landscaping, but it does release a certain amount of its toxic chemicals into the environment. This publication tells how to use this wood safely.
Essential points to consider when you are planning a vegetable garden.
Voles are mouselike rodents somewhat similar in appearance to pocket gophers. The clearest signs of their presence are the aboveground runways that connect burrow openings. Most problems around homes and gardens occur during outbreaks of vole populations.
This series of handy guides for the home orchard gives a quick overview of major tasks that should be undertaken during the winter dormant, spring bloom, summer growing and harvest, and autumn seasons. This guide is for walnuts.
How to make the most of your lawn area using the least amount of irrigation water.
Weed management in landscape plantings is often made difficult by the complexity of many plantings: usually more than one species is planted in the landscaped area and there is a mix of annual and perennial ornamentals. The great variety of ornamental species, soil types, slopes, and mulches creates the need for a variety of weed management options. Because of the many variables, weeds in landscape plantings are usually controlled by a combination of nonchemical and chemical methods.
Most species of wild blackberry, also called brambles, provide important sources of food and cover for many birds and mammals. Four species, however, are considered weeds. Two of these are non-natives, cutleaf blackberry (Rubus laciniatus) and Himalaya blackberry (Rubus discolor [=R. procerus]). In addition, two native species can also be weeds under certain conditions, thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) and California blackberry (Rubus ursinus [=R. vitifolius]). Of these weedy species, the most common, vigorous, and troublesome is Himalaya blackberry.
The windscorpion is a predatory creature related to spiders. Other names used for it include camel spider and sunspider, but it is neither a spider nor a scorpion. It is common from the arid southwest to California’s San Joaquin Valley.
California Master Gardener Tip Sheet. In winter when many fruit trees go dormant, it's a great time to treat them for scale insects, mites, peach twig borer, aphids, leaf curl, shot hole, and other problems. Make the most of the season! English edition of "Manejo del plagas de árboles frutales deciduos durante el invierno" (Publication 8368s).
Invasive woody plants and large perennial grasses such as bamboo can be very hard to control or eliminate from your garden. In this publication, you will get basic information on a variety of chemical and nonchemical methods that can get the job done.
Wasps become a problem only when they threaten to sting humans. One of the most troublesome of the social wasps is the yellowjacket. Yellowjackets, especially ground- and cavity-nesting ones such as the western yellowjacket, tend to defend their nests vigorously when disturbed. In fall, foraging yellowjackets are primarily scavengers and they start to show up at picnics, barbecues, around garbage cans, at dishes of dog or cat food placed outside, and where ripe or overripe fruit are accessible.