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Catalog of Topics Offered

UCCE Master Gardeners Speakers Bureau Catalog of Topics Offered

The Backyard Fruit Basket
Not enough room in your backyard for fruit trees and vines? With a little planning and know-how, you could make it happen. Learn about the varieties of fruit trees, vines and other fruits suitable for backyard growing and how to plant and care for them. Get tips for growing fruit in small gardens. Valuable information…ripe for picking!

Discover the beauty, ease and simple steps for successful gardening with bulbs. Learn the differences between true bulbs, corms, tubers/tuberous roots and rhizomes.  Find out how to plant them, including soil preparation and depth – and which ones become naturalized and which will need some refrigeration in our area. From a single pot to a large border planting, bulbs add stunning color to the garden and provide beautiful cut flowers for the home and to share with friends.

Butterflies in Your Garden
Did you know there are more than 170 species of butterflies that live in or visit Southern California?   You can easily attract many of them by learning about host and nectar plants and shelter that a particular species prefer. Learn to maintain an ecological partnership with flowering plants while eliminating the use of harmful pest control methods, unnecessary fertilizers and additives.  Discover the many types of butterflies, what they like, and examples of native and other nectar flowers that attract them. 

Composting Series - Composting Basics
Just how does compost happen? Nature, as it recycles by decomposition, provides us with garden gold.  Learn why it is important to recycle organic waste, about the right balance of greens, browns, air and water, and how soon you can expect your first batch!  Take a look at the traditional method and the UC rapid method.  Check out some nifty compost bins and do a little troubleshooting.  Then it’s all yours – wonderful black gold for your gardening pleasure. (This is half of a two-part series for certification in composting.)

Composting Series - Vermiculture (Vermicomposting or Worm Composting)
Yes, worms CAN eat your garbage and you can learn how to make that happen!  Find out what equipment and supplies you’ll need to assemble a worm bin including bedding, water, worms and food scraps.  You will also learn how to set up the vermiculture system, maintain proper temperature, harvest and do a little troubleshooting.  If you want to break down kitchen scraps into valuable, rich compost (and compost tea!) for your garden, don’t miss this presentation!  (This is half of a two-part series for certification in composting.)

Drought Tolerant Gardens
Let’s face it, we live in a climate where water has been and will continue to be an issue.  The smart gardener, in finding ways to address this issue, will investigate drought tolerant plants.  This presentation covers gardening in the Southern California Mediterranean climate and provides tips for designing and planning the drought tolerant garden including steps to implement the garden design.   Beginning with a definition/description of drought tolerant plants, attendees will learn how to select, plant, water and maintain the right plants to thrive in their gardens. 

Fairy Gardens
Each fairy garden has its own personality and in this class you will learn to design and create a lovely place for a fairy to come and visit. Miniature fences and garden tools or fairy figurines draw the eye to each plant, focusing on the tiny details.  You will learn the basics of container gardening including supplies, containers, theme, plants and creativity. There’s no limit to the variety and intrigue you can create with your fairy garden. Whether you’re designing it for your own enjoyment, or for others, have an enchanting time and maybe – just maybe – the fairies will pay a visit some night by the light of the moon.

Gardening Month by Month – The Busy Gardener
If you are busy (and who isn’t?) and like to garden, this is for you!  Not exactly “speed gardening” – but close – this presentation gives Orange County gardeners the list of top garden jobs for each area of the garden month by month.  Staying ahead of the “garden game” allows you to get your garden off to a good start with better results, higher yields and less effort.  It also gives you more time for those other things in your life!  From turf to tomatoes, there are tips for everyone.

Gardens for Small Spaces
No space to garden? You’ll be amazed at what you can grow in even the smallest spaces.  Create a year round, no fuss vegetable or herb garden or a place to grow your favorite flowers.  This presentation provides information on various techniques to maximize your garden space and productivity.

Imagine being able to harvest herbs as you need them right outside your kitchen door . . . or even from your kitchen counter.  Learn about growing herbs in containers – even in a pumpkin! – for use in cooking or for enjoyment in your garden.  From the mundane to the exotic, it’s time to learn about herbs.

Least Toxic Pest Control Methods – Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Eww, gross!  Is that what you think about those insects in your garden?  Learn multiple techniques for effective pest control that are the least toxic for your home environment.  Get the latest information on a variety of methods to keep those bad pests away, and encourage the beneficial insects, all while protecting the environment.

Rose Series - Beginning Rose Care
Ready to enter the world of rose gardening?  You came to the right place. This presentation covers the basics:  selection, planting, care and feeding, integrated pest management and pruning.  Learn which rose is right for you and how to care for it.

Rose Series - Advanced Rose Care
If you have roses, this presentation is a great refresher on the basics such as selection, planting, care and feeding, integrated pest management and pruning.   In addition, it includes a pruning demonstration and attention to specific types of roses such as shrubs, miniature and old garden roses. 

Smart Gardening Series - Overview
What does it take to be a Smart Gardener? Knowledge – and application of that knowledge – about soil care, irrigation, energy conservation, pest control and wildlife.  Sound complicated? This series of presentations makes it simple and will help you to save time, money and create a healthier garden.

Smart Gardening Series - What’s in Your Soil? – Soil Basics
Good soil is the starting place for a smart garden.  Learn the components of soil, how to evaluate your landscape soil, and the steps you can take to enrich your soil to produce a bountiful, sustainable landscape and garden.

Smart Gardening Series - Water Better Not Wetter
?If you think conserving water means that you have a barren landscape, think again!   Discover how you can have a beautiful landscape by managing water and gardening smartly.  Learn irrigation tricks and tips that will save you money and time while helping the environment.

Smart Gardening Series - Energy Smarts for the Garden
What does energy have to do with a garden?  Plenty.  Smart gardening energy is all about what you plant, where you plant, and how you care for your garden. Planting the right tree in the right place can actually save you money.   Learn simple steps you can take to conserve energy. 

Smart Gardening Series - What’s Bugging Your Plants? (Integrated Pest Management  [IPM])
Face it.  You can’t get rid of all the insects in the world, let alone in your yard . . . but you can learn to manage them so that your plants will thrive.  Find out how to ‘outsmart’ the bad insects and attract the beneficial ones.  Get tips on prevention, avoidance, suppression and responsible pest control.

Smart Gardening Series - Create a Wildlife Habitat in Your Yard
No, not the lions-and-tigers-and-bears kind of wildlife!  More like the small critters such as birds, bees, butterflies and lizards. Attract wildlife by creating a welcoming habitat. Learn to restore a natural balance, and then reap the benefits as you enjoy watching these small creatures right in your own backyard.

Succulents are such easy plants to grow, both in the garden and in pots.  This presentation covers the history and origin of succulents, their care and feeding and propagation.  It also covers pests, diseases and recommended remedies.  Learn how to grow succulents in pots, in the landscape as art and as houseplants.  Succulent containers will be on display to show the vast variety of ways to plant succulents.

Tool Time
Okay, okay – there are some trusty standby tools that you need in your garden. And then, there are the cool tools – the ones that take your breath away, that you don’t want to live without, that you see in your dreams. Let’s discuss and demonstrate tools for home gardens.

Vegetables Series - Edibles in the Landscape
The best locally grown food comes from your own yard.  You can plant what you like, connect with nature and have a bounty that is healthy, seasonal and flavorful.  Learn about edible plant selections including annuals, herbs, berries and fruit trees.  Find out how to transform your garden gradually with various garden themes or styles.  This presentation covers soil, water, integrated pest management, care and feeding and harvesting.  Get information about containers or raised beds, accent plants and trellises or support for vines.

Vegetables Series - Giant Pumpkins
Ginormous! Stupendous!  Enormous! Gargantuan! Colossal!   So you’d like to grow a giant pumpkin?  This presentation will help you to learn how to do that.  It addresses site selection, soil preparation, germination, and transplanting, watering, fertilizing and general care.  The most important tips of all: have fun and good luck!

Vegetables Series - Grow it NOW: Cool Season Vegetables
From gourmet selections to a stir-fry garden, this presentation covers everything you need to know about starting and growing vegetables that you can harvest in fall, winter and early spring. Learn how to "start something" that you can harvest and eat throughout the cool season. Get tips for fitting more into smaller spaces and busy lifestyles, information, and demonstrations. 

Vegetables Series - Grow it NOW: Warm Season Vegetables
Ready to dig in the garden again? Now is the time to plant warm season vegetables to feed your family over the summer months. Get the information you need to choose your crops so that you can eat healthily while following the #1 rule: plant what you and your family like to eat! Yum!

Vegetables Series - Month by Month in the Vegetable Garden
If you are busy (and who isn’t?) and like to grow vegetables, this is for you! Not exactly “speed gardening” – but close – this presentation gives Orange County gardeners the list of top jobs for your vegetable garden month by month.  Staying ahead of the “garden game” allows you to get your garden off to a good start with better results, higher yields and less effort.  It also gives you more time for those other things in your life!  From artichokes to zucchini, there are tips for everyone.

Vegetables Series - Raised Bed or Container Vegetable Gardening
Don’t let space dictate how much you can grow in your garden!  If you seriously want to harvest crops to feed your family, a raised bed or container gardening might be the answer for you.  Some of the advantages are that you can have homegrown vegetables, use less space and water and cut out the backbreaking work – without weeds!  The best part?  It’s fun and easy.  Great for patios, apartment balconies and smaller back yards.

Vegetables Series - Tomatoes
You could plant from dawn to dusk and still not plant every variety of tomato! Whether you are a novice or a pro, you’ll enjoy learning about tomatoes: the many varieties, their culture, diseases and pests, growing in the ground vs. growing in containers – and finally, how to use them.

Basic Gardening
The Basic Gardening Course highlights the basic requirements to establish a vegetable garden to grow healthy food for the family.  Topics include sunlight, quality of soil, water availability and good drainage. The presentation also provides advice on location, selection of vegetables, time of the year to plant, and integrated pest management.

El Curso de Jardinería Básica (Basic Gardening - Spanish)
El Curso de Jardinería Básica es una presentación de cerca de 45 minutos sobre los requisitos para empezar una huerta casera que contribuya a una balanceada nutrición de la familia.  Los requisitos básicos son la luz solar, calidad del suelo, agua disponible y buen drenaje.  La presentación también aconseja como seleccionar el lugar, los vegetales, la época del año y la manera de como controlar plagas.