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UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance

From the UC Blogosphere...

These European Paper Wasps Didn't Get the Memo

A sign on a UC Davis recycling bin clearly says

They didn't get the memo. A sign on a recycling bin near the Mann Laboratory at the University of California, Davis,...

Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 4:38 PM

National Pollinator Week: Visit the UC Davis Bee Garden

A honey bee and bumble bee share a coneflower in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. This is a yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Let's celebrate National Pollinator Week. And what better time for the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology to...

Posted on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 5:00 PM

13 Ways to Make a Garden Pollinator Friendly!

June 18 - 24, 2018 is National Pollinator Week! National Pollinator Week is a time to recognize and celebrate the importance of pollinators. Worldwide, approximately 1,000 plants grown for food, beverages, fibers, spices, and medicines need to be pollinated by animals in order to produce the goods on which we depend. Support pollinators in your home or a community garden with these 13 ways to make your landscape more pollinator friendly. Visit pollinator.org for more information. 
  1. A variety of plants will be ideal for providing diverse sources of nectar and pollen. Choose at least 20 different plant types, or fewer if the types of plants are highly attractive to pollinators. Don't forget that night-blooming flowers will support moths and bats.

  2. Help pollinators find and use your garden by planting in clumps, rather than just single plants. Think about "landing zones."

  3. Include plants native to your region. Natives are adapted to your local climate, soil and native pollinators. If you want to see some locals, plant some natives!

    Photo Credit: Susan Pransky, San Diego County
  4. Overlap flowering times between seasons and use a wide variety of plants that bloom from early spring into late fall.Pollinators are in a constant search for new resources. Choosing plants with overlapping flowering times from February to October will allow bees and pollinators to continually forage in your garden.

  5. Consider plant climate zones. Plant for success! A plant's native climate range is important in determining if it will be attractive to bees visiting your garden (and if your plant will grow well in your garden or not!)
    Photo Credit: Carol Jesse, Alameda County
  6. Design a garden that has structure. The arrangement of plants in your garden will influence your ability to observe and enjoy pollinators. Plant the tallest plants in the back with the smaller ones in the front.

  7. Plant in the sun. Bees prefer to visit flowers in the sun, so avoid planting your pollinator-attracting plants in the shadier parts of your garden.
    Photo Credit: Kalaivani Sundarararjan, Orange County
  8. Reduce or eliminate pesticide use in your landscape, or incorporate plants that attract beneficial insects for pest control. If you use pesticides, use them sparingly and responsibly. Pesticides can kill bad insects as well as beneficial insects like bees, ladybugs and other predators of garden pests.

  9. Don't' forget about nesting bees! Not all bees have a hive. Make sure to leave some areas for bees to build their nests (either in bare ground or in prefabricated cavities in wood). It's ok to leave part of your garden un-mulched for ground-nesting insects to discover.

  10. Leave dead tree trunks and branches in your landscape for wood-nesting bees and beetles. By leaving dead trees, or at least an occasional dead limb, you provide essential nesting sites for native bees, but make sure these are not a safety hazard for people walking below. You can also build a bee condo by drilling holes of varying diameter about 3 to 5 inches deep in a piece of scrap lumber mounted to a post or under eaves.
    Photo Credit: Catherine Iwaki, San Luis Obispo County
  11. Provide clean water for pollinators with a shallow dish, bowl, or birdbath with half-submerged stones for perches.

  12. Create a damp salt lick for butterflies and bees. Use a dripping hose, drip irrigation line, or place your birdbath on bare soil to create a damp area. Mix a small bit of salt or wood ashes into the mud.

  13. Provide a hummingbird feeder and add to nectar resources. To make artificial nectar, use four parts water to one part table sugar. Never use artificial sweeteners, honey, or fruit juices. Place something red on the feeder. Clean your feeder with hot soapy water at least twice a week to keep it free of mold.
    Photo Credit: Hank Morales, Santa Clara County

Tips for how to make a pollinator garden originally published on the UC ANR Pollen Nation website. 

Posted on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 9:25 AM

Preserve The Summer Harvest


Preserve Your Summer Harvest 

By Rosemary Orr   UCCE Master Food Preserver



June in San Luis Obispo County is a wonderful time of the year to start preserving our summer's bounty of fruit. You are invited to join UC Master Food Preservers for their “Introduction to Canning” class.  Discover how to preserve a simple fruit puree while learning the basic principles of food preservation and canning. In San Luis Obispo, UC Master Food Preservers have received extensive training in food safety and food preservation and now serve as UC Cooperative Extension volunteers who teach these topics to the community. The information in this class will prepare you for upcoming classes on Fermentation, August 25 and Advanced Canning, September 22.


The class will be held on Saturday, June 23 from 10am to 12pm at 2156 Sierra Way in San Luis Obispo. In this class, the boiling water bath canning method will be the primary topic. A variety of basic canning principles will be discussed including: the difference between low acid and high acid foods, boiling water vs. pressure canning, steam canning, canning supplies, recommended canning books, tested recipes, and the effects of altitude on canning. Safe food handling and canning don'ts (using your grandmother's canning recipe, paraffin wax, upside down jars, etc.) will also be topics for conversation. During the class, the UC Master Food Preservers will show you how to preserve a seasonal fruit puree using a boiling water canner. This class is designed for the beginning canner or for someone who has not canned for several years. There will be a $10.00 class fee to cover supplies.


If you can't make it to the class and have a food safety/preservation question, UCCE Master Food Preservers have a helpline at (805) 781-1429 every Wednesday from 1:00-3:00pm. By calling the helpline, you can also find out about upcoming food preservation classes, safe canning recipes, how to become a Certified Master Food Preserver, make an appointment to get your pressure canner gauge tested, and discover how you too can teach research-based practices of safe home food preservation to the residents of our community.



Class registration:  http://ucanr.edu/introtocanning2018


Posted on Monday, June 18, 2018 at 3:54 PM

Love Makes the World--and the Bugs--Go 'Round

A mating pair of Stagmomantis limbata in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Consider the lovestruck praying mantis. If you've ever watched a mating pair of mantids and seen the male lose his head, or...

Posted on Monday, June 18, 2018 at 3:00 PM

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