Know Your Garden - Educational Resources
Get to know your gardening space before planting. Take time to find what you like and what will grow in the geographic area of your gardening space. With knowledge, your garden venture is bound to be successful. (For each of the topics outlined below, you can access additional information via use of the provided links .)
Climate and microclimates: What is your climate zone? USDA places Placer County in zone 9b according to average temperatures. Sunset Western Garden Collection also factors in microclimates such as slope and swales, soil, and wind. Sunset puts western Placer County in zone 9 but your property can easily have more than one microclimate.
- USDA: https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/#
- Sunset Climate Zones. Sunset Western Garden Collection. 2020.
Soil: What kind of soil do you have? There are three basic types: sandy, which drains water quickly due to coarse particles; clay, which is dense and drains slowly because the particles are small; or loam, a combination of the two plus decayed organic matter. You can test your soil with a home kit or by sending off samples to a soil lab which will help determine which amendments to add to your soil to improve the drainage quality of both sand and clay.
- California Gardening. Soil Test Kits: https://ucanr.edu/sites/gardenweb/files/29075.pdf
- UCCE Publication 31-074C. Soil Analysis https://ucanr.edu/sites/placernevadasmallfarms/files/142586.pdf
Having Issues? Most gardening problems are those we can smartly eliminate with proper care. Plants want access to sunlight, air flow, space, water as needed, and their preferred soil type. If you have a munching critter or a fungal or bacterial abiotic disorder, determine what it is—no guesses allowed! Most often, you can make minor adjustments and your plants will improve without having to resort to pesticides which are costly to the environment and your pocketbook.
- UCANR Integrated Pest Management. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/menu.homegarden.html
Celebrate your smart choices and successes. What did you do to achieve good results? Mistakes are there to learn from—make a few informed changes by taking advantage of educational materials that are readily available to you and get ready for gardening rewards!
Other Educational Resources:
- UC Master Gardeners of Placer County. (gateway to information and many gardening sites including: California Garden Web; Backyard Orchard; Curious Gardener publications. http://pcmg.ucanr.org
- UC Master Gardeners of Placer County Gardener Hotline: 530-889-7388 or http://pcmg.ucanr.org/Got_Questions/
- Brenzel, Kathleen Norris, Editor. Sunset Western Garden Book. Sunset Publishing Corporation.
UCCE Demonstration Gardens
- Grass Valley Demonstration Garden: 1036 W. Main St., Grass Valley, Ca. 95945 (on NID grounds).
- Sherwood Demonstration Garden: 6699 Campus Dr., Placerville, Ca. 95667
- Fair Oaks Horticultural Center: 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks, Ca. 95628
- California Native Plant Society:-Placer and Nevada County Redbud Chapters http://www.redbud-cnps.org/
- California Native Plant Society:calscape.org
Native Plant Nurseries
- UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. https://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/
- California Native Plant Society. Sacramento Valley Chapter. https://www.sacvalleycnps.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4&Itemid=110