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A Colorful Story for Your Backyard Garden

Backyard gardenHello Almaden families! Hope you are all safe and sheltering in place right now. We are all facing a tough situation, but it need not be completely frustrating. We can use this opportunity to get a lot accomplished around the house and in the backyard garden, along with some great family bonding time.

It’s spring, and the beautiful weather calls one out to the garden. It’s time to go out for some planting. Spring is the best time to plant seasonal flower bulbs, saplings and beds to yield the summer.

In late March or early April, spring planted bulbs will transform your garden into a glory of colors in the summer. Some of the most popular varieties are calla lilies, dahlia, gladiolus, begonia, anemone, canna, and a variety of lilies like rain lily, nerine lily, and the Asiatic lily.

Late April is the time to plant the saplings directly into the ground. You can create beautiful borders or fill up those empty spaces in your backyard garden. While planting, take care to position sun-loving and shade-loving varieties in the right zones. Some of the plants you can place directly into the ground at this time are roses, which will bloom right through September or early October. While gardening stores stock a variety of annuals, you can get better yield from your hard work by planting perennials which keep blooming year after year. Popular perennials are lavender, geranium, daisy, iris, aster, black-eyed susan, bugleweed, and clematis, among others.

Stay safe and enjoy some family time in the garden.

For more planting information, visit:

Spring Is In The Air – Prepare Your Yard! (Part 1)

prepare your yardSpring Gardening

It is not officially spring yet, but with winter on the wane and the days getting warmer, it certainly feels like spring is in the air… and this is the perfect time to prepare your yard! With a little bit of work now, you will have a bountiful spring and summer garden, rich in vibrant colors with plenty to harvest.

There are four main tasks which are recommended for your garden this month.

Pruning and fertilizing

Late winter and early spring is the best time to prune fruit trees. If you haven’t already done it, now is the time. Pruning before the buds bloom will relieve the plants resulting in better growth and a better crop later on. Fertilize fruit trees with an organic fertilizer or compost for better quality yield.

Prune evergreen trees and shrubs leaving out branches in the direction you want to encourage growth. Rose plants and bushes should be pruned before they start budding. For spring flowering plants, wait until after blooming. Fertilize the rose plants at this stage. Fertilize garden beds at the top soil level and let the nutrients percolate down.


Now is the perfect time to plant fruit trees, perennial crops like berries and spring crops like beets, carrots, peas, spinach, leeks and lettuces. Bare fruit trees root in the winter and begin sprouting leaves and branches through spring summer.


Control weeds in the garden while they are young. You can also use a weed preventing product like Preen.

Lawn care

Lawns should be watered deeply once or twice a week at this time, depending on the amount of rain. Avoid overwatering. Spread lawn seeds on bare patches and fertilize.

For more garden maintenance tips, visit:


How Does Your Garden Grow?

garden growHow Does Your Garden Grow?

Imagine yourself in a bountiful spring garden surrounded by tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, crocuses and beautiful blossoms in a riot of colors and hues. But how do you bring this spring wonderland to your own front yard and backyard? The answer is, by starting now.

For many of us, gardening projects end in the summer. Yet, fall planting is crucial to a good harvest in spring, be it flowers or vegetables. Here’s how to go about creating a beautiful spring garden.

Picking bulbs for spring blossoms: Right now, garden stores and nurseries are stocked up on bulbs and seeds for planting. Tulips, hyacinths, crocuses, daffodils, irises are some varieties which are sure to give you a blooming garden come spring.

Spring veggie patch: For a vegetable harvest in spring, choose vegetables which can withstand the winter chill and frost. Carrots, cabbages, turnips, broccoli, celery, parsnips, radishes, kale, and brussels sprouts are among the varieties which are most hardy.

Planting time: Plant the bulbs after summer but before the ground gets frosty. October is usually a good time for fall planting, but here in the Bay area, it is safe to plant till early November.

Where to plant: Choose an area in your yard which is sunny and has good drainage. Prepare the soil with compost and fertilize after planting the bulbs.

Mulch: Be sure to spread a layer of mulch. This keeps keep the moisture in and prevents frost from settling on the bulbs in the winter.

For more information, visit
For hardiness zones, check out this excellent resource on fall planting of bulbs:

Master Gardener Course: Renovating Your Landscape – UPDATED 2022

Master Gardners of Santa Clara CountyLearn from Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County how to evaluate and rework your landscape to keep it looking its best.

Improve your garden through the use of ornamental plants that bring beauty to your home. And learn sustainable gardening practices that make your home more in tune with our climate and ecology.

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StartOrganic is Holding a Free Produce-Share for Almaden Valley Residents – UPDATED 2022

StartOrganic is holding its first community produce-share in Almaden Valley. StartOrganic will be passing out a gamut of homegrown produce from its own network of local gardens. You can also get information about how you can start or expand your own organic garden at home.

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Sustainable Home Vegetable Gardening in Almaden Valley – UPDATED 2022

logo: Master Gardeners of Santa Clara CountyGardening year round is easy and rewarding in our mild climate here in Almaden Valley. Learn from Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County how to have a successful, environmentally responsible food garden that provides delicious vegetables and herbs every month of the year.

This course stresses sustainable gardening practices such as mulching, efficient watering methods, on-site composting, integrated pest management, and use of organic fertilizers and soil amendments.

This six-week course is taught by Bette Lloyd, Master Gardener. The class meets at the Almaden Community Center on Saturdays, January 22 – February 26, 2011, from 10am-12pm. Register online or by calling 408-268-1133. The price is $70 per person. [EVENT IS CLOSED]

Gardening Course in Almaden Valley: Growing Fruit Trees & Berries – UPDATED 2022

Master Gardeners Santa Clara County LogoAttend Growing Fruit Trees & Berries presented by the Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County. This four-week course stresses how good garden practices such as efficient watering, managing garden pests, and use of organic fertilizers and soil amendments apply to growing healthy fruits and berries.

Topics that will be covered include gardening basic requirements for specific fruits and berries, recommended varieties, and pruning techniques. Apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums, citrus, and a variety of berries will be covered.

The course is being held at the Almaden Community Center every Saturday beginning April 17, 2010 and ending May 8, 2010, from 10am-12pm. The price is $45 for residents and $49 for non-residents.

Register online at San Jose Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services. [EVENT IS CLOSED]

Seminar: Using Native Plant Gardens to Encourage Pollinators – UPDATED 2022

California NativescapesLearn how native plants play an increasingly critical environmental role in an era of declining pollinator populations. Rebecca Schoenenberger, owner of California Nativescapes, will teach you how to create a sustainable habitat garden to encourage pollinators.

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Almaden Library and the California Native Plant Society. The seminar takes place at the Almaden Library, Program Room on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 from 6:30-7:45pm. [EVENT IS CLOSED]