Articles by Kate Russell

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

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 [...]

Fire safety in the garden

One or two minutes may be all the warning you get when it comes to fire. Fire-safe gardening around your home can give you the time you need to get out safely. [...]

How does your garlic grow?

Being the Garlic Capital of the World means there are plenty of garlic goodies to be found in Gilroy, but growing your own garlic may be the most rewarding way to celebrate this cousin to onions, shallots, chives and leeks. In late spring, garlic plants may not look like much. [...]

Fuzzy, but not friends

If you have citrus trees, you probably have citrus mealybugs. Cousin to scale insects, these tiny Morgan Hill pests are often overlooked. At first, you may see some sooty mold on a few leaves, an ant trail, or, finally, a telltale cluster of fuzzy white, tucked under leaves or [...]
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