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From the UC Blogosphere...

Got Milk? Got a Question About Tsetse Flies?

A tsetse fly, the work of medical entomologist Geoffrey Attardo. He will deliver a presentation on tsetse flies at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 12 in the G Street Wunderbar, 228 G St..

Got milk? Got a question about tsetse flies? Yes? Then you'll want to attend the Science Café presentation on...

Medical entomologist Geoffrey Attardo with some of his images he displayed at the UC Davis Picnic Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Medical entomologist Geoffrey Attardo with some of his images he displayed at the UC Davis Picnic Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Medical entomologist Geoffrey Attardo with some of his images he displayed at the UC Davis Picnic Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 12:18 PM

Gophers!!!

Photo By Tami Reece

  Gophers!! By Jutta Thoerner   UCCE Master Gardener   I moved to a rural area this year...

Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 12:11 PM

More fire inspections needed to protect homes from wildfire

Public records show that the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), has not kept up with its fire inspection goals in many wildfire-prone areas of California, reported Lauren Sommer on KQED radio, the National Public Radio affiliate in San Francisco.

In one CAL FIRE region in the Sierra Nevada, just 6% of properties were inspected in 2018. In the Bay Area, CAL FIRE inspected 12% of properties. Southern California coastal counties have recorded inspections at higher rates, with some looking at 100% of properties.

"We should be doing more, doing better," said Max Moritz, UC Cooperative Extension wildfire specialist. "We need to have more people aware they are living on a fire-prone landscape and taking action."

The article said the agency's goal of inspecting 33% of homes each year is impeded by a lack of inspectors and resources. Lawmakers in Sacramento are now considering a bill, AB 1516, that mandates CAL FIRE inspect properties once every three years, beginning in 2021.

"There are not too many other ways people will learn about the vulnerability of their own home, other than having an inspector or firefighter at their property," Moritz said.

Fire scientists recommend that the five-foot-zone around structures be completely free of vegetation that can burn.
Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 9:11 AM

Glyphosate (e.g., "Roundup") Use in Contra Costa Gardens

Help for the Home Gardener from the Help Desk of the
UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County

Help Desk Request:  I've just moved into my first house, and I would like to grow a moderate-sized vegetable garden in the back of the property. However, the prior owner did not maintain the area I'm considering and it is heavily infested with weeds. I would like to remove the weeds.  I'm considering the use of Glyphosate for weed elimination and maintenance. What would Master Gardeners recommend?

Help Desk Response: Thank you for contacting Master Gardeners of Contra Costa County Help Desk. Your request is quite active in the public eye these days in California. The use of weed controls such as Glyphosate are regulated both by the Federal and the State Government. Master Gardeners isn't a regulatory agency, but one area we provide information on to home gardeners is the use of herbicides. We get that information from the University of California's Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) on the use and effects of herbicides like Glyphosate. Under that structure, MGCC recommends the use of Integrated Pest Management procedures to effectively reduce and/or minimize the use of herbicides such as the legal use of Glyphosate. 

UCANR has as of April 2019 updated their response to "Why UCANR provides scientific information and guidance on the use of Glyphosate in California". You can find this 2 page document attached as well as on the web.

It is obvious from the ongoing news that many will not agree with that guidance but it is based on science, best practices, and legal requirements for this herbicide that has been in public use since 1974.

If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  ... And always follow the directions for use...

Help Desk of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County (SIM)


Note:  UC Master Gardeners Program of Contra Costa's Help Desk is available almost year-round to answer your gardening questions.  Except for a few holidays (e.g., last 2 weeks December), we're open every week, Monday through Thursday for walk-ins from 9:00 am to Noon at 2380 Bisso Lane, Concord, CA 94520. We can also be reached via telephone:  (925) 608-6683, email: ccmg@ucanr.edu, or on the web at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/Ask_Us/. MGCC Blogs can be found at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/HortCoCo/ You can also subscribe to the Biog.

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Posted on Monday, June 10, 2019 at 12:07 AM

Birds, Bats or a Bloom? But No Splat!

A lady beetle, aka ladybug, ready to devour aphids, its primary food source. Image taken in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Remember that massive green blob that showed up Tuesday night, June 4 on the National Weather Service (NWS) radar in San...

A lady beetle, aka ladybug, ready to devour aphids, its primary food source. Image taken in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A lady beetle, aka ladybug, ready to devour aphids, its primary food source. Image taken in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A lady beetle, aka ladybug, ready to devour aphids, its primary food source. Image taken in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A lady beetle on the prowl in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A lady beetle on the prowl in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A lady beetle on the prowl in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Peek-a-boo! A lady beetle peers over a leaf in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Peek-a-boo! A lady beetle peers over a leaf in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Peek-a-boo! A lady beetle peers over a leaf in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A congregation of overwintering lady beetles in California's Coast Range. (Photo by Greg Kareofelas)
A congregation of overwintering lady beetles in California's Coast Range. (Photo by Greg Kareofelas)

A congregation of overwintering lady beetles in California's Coast Range. (Photo by Greg Kareofelas)

Posted on Sunday, June 9, 2019 at 5:00 PM

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