Gardening Tips

The backyard gardeners of our area have a multitude of challenges when they begin to garden. From our microclimates, elevation, soil ranges to what to plant when and where.

The Master Gardeners can help with the questions our gardeners have.

Visit the Gardening Tips section of our counties' Master Gardeners.

Bug Squad
  • An assassin bug drills a pest, a spotted cucumber beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
    Let's Hear It for Biocontrol, Integrated Pest Management

    Let's hear it for biocontrol. You've seen lady beetles, aka ladybugs, preying on aphids. But have you seen an assassin bug attack a spotted cucumber beetle? No? How about a crab spider munching on a stink bug? All biocontrol, part of integrated pest...


    By Kathy Keatley Garvey
    Author - Communications specialist
  • A female praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata (as identified by praying mantis expert Lohit Garikipati of UC Davis) eyes a mourning cloak butterfly nectaring on verbena. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
    Just Look, Don't Take?

    When we last left Ms. Mantis, a female Stagmomantis limbata residing in our verbena patch, she was munching on a honey bee. A successful ambush stalker, she was. But not always. Her plan to take down a duskywing butterfly, genus Erynnis, didn't go so...


    By Kathy Keatley Garvey
    Author - Communications specialist
  • A female praying mantis, a Stagmomantis limbata (as identified by Lohit Garikipati of UC Davis) is looking for prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
    Victory in the Verbena

    Yes, I'm hungry. A female praying mantis is perched upside down in our pollinator garden. She has maintained this position in the verbena over a four-day period, enduring temperatures that soar to 105 degrees. The mantis, a Stagmomantis limbata (as...


    By Kathy Keatley Garvey
    Author - Communications specialist