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Gardening & Home Pest Control

Master Gardeners - Common questions pertaining to home gardening.

Home Gardens and Landscapes Education & Outreach - Common questions pertaining to horticulture and pest management (residential) information to county residents who grow edible and ornamental plants for their personal use.

Natural Resources

Invasive Plants - Common questions pertaining to non-native plants in California's wildlands.

Environmental Issues - Common questions pertaining to agricultural water quality, waste management, and land use issues.

Coastal Resources - Common questions pertaining to clean boating, antifouling water quality, acquatic invasive species, fisheries, aquaculture and seafood quality.

Wild Fire Education & Outreach - Common questions pertaining to wildfires and fire-related topics.

Vertebrate Pest Management - Common questions pertaining to agricultural vertebrate pest control including pesticide application and humane trapping practices of wildlife in the state of California.

Nutrition, Family & Consumer Science

Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) - Common questions pertaining to opportunities for families, individuals, and youth to enhance their quality of living by providing resources that support independence and self-sufficiency.

Commercial Agriculture

Avocado, Citrus, Subtropical & Deciduous Fruit - Common questions pertaining to subtropical horticulture.

Small Farms & Agriculture Economics 
- Common questions pertaining to business & risk management education, new crop development & evaluation, and marketing information for small farmers and new growers.

Floriculture, Nursery Crops & Pest Management 
- Common questions pertaining to ornamental horticulture including greenhouse and nursery, floriculture and foliage production, Integrated Pest Management and Invasive Pests.

Landscape, Turf & Irrigation Management 
- Common questions pertaining to areas of sustainable landscapes, arboriculture and Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Commercial Integrated Pest Management Questions pertaining to developing integrated pest management programs in commercial production, plant maintenance, school IPM for insects, weeds, vertebrate pests. Questions about home gardening, home landscaping and pest in and around private homes should be directed to the UC Master Gardeners.

Weed Management - Common questions about managing weeds in agricultural crops, commercial turf and landscapes, and ornamental production.

4-H Youth Development

4-H Youth Developement - Common questions pertaining to activities, youth-adult partnerships, and research-based educational programs to help young people discover and develop their full potential!


6 Comments - Post Comment

Please help, I am visiting my home here in Scripps Ranch and I have 3 large long needle pine trees, that are dropping its needles at an fast rate than I have seen. there is some new growth but I am worried about them. if you can Please come an see them. I will be going back to Wyomng on Wed. John Kessock thank you

Posted by John Kessock on March 10, 2014

Reply posted on March 11, 2014

Your tree may need a good deep watering before you leave.  Remember that pines do have a seasonal leaf drop.  Hope this helps.


Andrea F., MG


I live in oceanside..when is a good time to repot and prune fruit trees.....if the roots of a fruit tree that are in a container are also in the ground thru the bottom holes of the container when I prune and repot should I also prune the top of the tree

Posted by andrew on November 2, 2011

Reply posted on November 3, 2011


Repotting can be done most any time, but I would avoid the hottest months of the year.  Pruning ?  Depends on what kind (deciduous or citrus) or if deciduous what variety (apple, pear, peach etc.) Different kinds require different type pruning so that section of the branches destined to produce the next crop will not be cut off.  I assume that you are going to repot into larger containers to accommodate the larger root ball of the trees.  If possible I would cut away the existing container from the root ball and repot into the larger container.  If this is not possible I would trim off the roots that have made their way out of the container.  To achieve balance between the rooting structure and the above ground portion of the tree I would trim a small portion off the top of the tree.

Malcolm “MG”

I desparately need to control/eliminate yellow nutsedge from a newly landscaped lawn. Since Sedgehammer is not permitted for sale in the state, what are my effective herbicidal options? Please advise.

Posted by Chuck Ritchie on September 27, 2011

Reply posted on October 19, 2011

The nutlets in nutsedge are virtually impossible to remove. Monterey Lawn and Garden Products sell 'Nutgrass Nihlator' at the better nurseries. This product is formulated to kill the nutlet as well as the top of the plant.

Malcolm “MG”

Can you please help me identify a stange plant in my garden? It is exactly like a tomato plant, growing next to my tomatoes but instead of turning red, the fruits turn black. They also don't grow larger than a small berry. Where can i go to find out how to identify this? Thanks Rachael

Posted by Rachael Hayden on September 26, 2011

Reply posted on October 19, 2011


I suggest you bring a sample of the plant along with the strange fruit in a plastic bag (sealed) to the Master Gardener Office for identification.

If you need directions all 858-694-2869.  We are open Monday though Friday 9am to 3pm.

Malcolm “MG”

How far away from a leach field is it safe to plant a vegetable garden?

Posted by Julie Atherton on September 15, 2011

Reply posted on September 15, 2011


While it is tempting to grow fruit and vegetables over a leach field to take advantage to moisture and nutrients, it is not recommended because of the potential health hazards associated with the leach field. While there seems to be some who have done so without ill effects, I believe it is better be safe than sorry and would not plant over a leach field. I have not discovered any statements as to how far from a leach field is safe for planting vegetables. However, most vegetable root systems are not very extensive and I would recommend not less than 4 feet from the leach field unless there is a slope involved where drainage and rain would preclude planting vegetables downhill from the leach field.

Malcolm, MG

am looking for advice on controlling the spread of invasive weeds in regards to vehicle (cars, tractors & misc machinary) traffic.

Posted by Bill Click on July 22, 2011

Reply posted on July 27, 2011

The usual procedure is to pressure wash equipment on site before they are moved, even though that is time consuming and challenging. You might check with CalFire and with US Dept of Defense; I know they both have standards but I don't know the details.

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