Articles by Kate Russell

About Kate Russell
Kate Russell is a UCCE Master Gardener in Santa Clara county.

Growing vegetables in containers

Radishes, beans, salad greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic and many other edible plants can be grown in containers, given enough sunlight. Without enough light, plants will not produce a harvest. Plants use sunlight, or artificially created sunlight, to create sugars using [...]

Getting help in the garden

Gone are the days of barn raisings and community grain harvests, but that doesn’t mean you have to do all your garden work by yourself.  Let’s face it—gardening is work. It’s work that we enjoy, certainly, but sometimes we need a helping hand. Knowing where to look [...]

Tips for a tranquil garden

Your garden can be a bright, cheery, busy place, or it can provide the tranquility you need after a busy day. Transform your garden into a tranquil refuge with these easy tips: Keep it simple. Get rid of clutter. Remove plants that are not thriving. Use simple decorations. Leave [...]

Garden themes

Avoid compacting your wet clay soil by staying indoors and planning a themed garden. Traditional garden themes include floral cottage gardens, manicured Renaissance gardens and classic kitchen gardens, with their successive plantings of vegetables, fruits and herbs. Garden [...]

Holiday plant care

Most holiday plants receive too much water and heat, and not enough sunlight, to make it through January. Poinsettias, Amaryllis and miniature Christmas trees make delightful gifts, but they need special care to last. Poinsettias are fascinating. The bright red blooms are [...]

Reptiles can be useful

Reptiles in gardens? Let’s hope so! You may see a lizard scurrying for cover under your lettuces, or a snake slithering across your strawberry patch, but what are they doing in your garden? Are they pests or helpers? And what’s the difference between reptiles and amphibians? [...]

Luring pests away

Every year, we plant our garden favorites. And every year, the same pests come, causing damage and carrying disease. What if there was a way to lure those pests away from your plants? There is. It’s called trap cropping. Trap cropping is a form of intercropping that uses other [...]

A different type of migration

Migration probably isn’t something you associate with gardening in Gilroy. But maybe you should. When we talk about migration, we generally mean large groups, moving from one region to another, due to seasonal changes, depleted food supplies, safety or reproduction. To most [...]

Vectors for plant disease

Few weeds come up as quickly and resiliently as common groundsel. Also known as old-man-in-the-spring, this European annual weed prefers Morgan Hill’s cool, wet winter weather, dying off each summer, but it never fails to return each year. Common groundsel description Like [...]
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