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Got Gardening Questions?

Volunteers for our Hotline are working via email to respond to your gardening questions. All responses to your questions will be conducted via email.

Email Us at mgbutte@ucanr.edu (preferred).

Call: 530-538-7201 (leave a message)

Help Us Help You

You never can tell what's at the root of the problem. Below are some questions we may ask when you contact us:

  • Name of plant
  • Age of plant
  • Soil type (loam, sandy, clay)
  • Current watering methods (drip, sprinkler, hand)
  • Frequency of watering
  • Sun exposure
  • Evidence of insects or other damage – check on both sides of leaves
  • Recent changes that may effect the plant (watering, fertilizing)

Samples and photos related to your question are strongly encouraged. Drop them by the office any time, or email them to: mgbutte@ucanr.edu

What’s Hot Now?

By Laura Lukes

What is the best time of day to water?
No matter what you are irrigating, or how, the very best time to water your plants is in the wee hours of the morning. Broadcast or drip, lawns, shrubs, vegetables, or flowers, your plants will do best when watered early in the day before it is light out. It seems counterintuitive that you can conserve water while watering, but if you irrigate before the sun is up, you reduce trans-evaporation, and ensure that almost every drop applied makes it to the roots of your plants, where it is most needed. In addition, the moisture will help keep the soil a tad cooler when temperatures rise during the day. Lastly, irrigating in the evening hours before dark can encourage fungal growth on leaves. Because an early morning irrigation regime is hard to monitor for leaks and breaks (you may be sleeping while the irrigation runs and small leaks are hard to detect in the dark), be sure to check your system (lines, emitters, etc.) seasonally.

Photographer: Laura Kling


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