Shelter in Place & Garden on

Mar 25, 2020

Shelter in Place & Garden on

Mar 25, 2020

Editor's note: Master Gardeners are keeping busy in their own gardens during Napa County's “Shelter in Place” directive. It's spring, it's getting warmer, it's a great time to work in the garden! Here's how Master Gardeners are spending their time:

by Pat Hitchcock

I've been spending time in the garden. Although part of me wishes this had translated into cleaning stuff in the house, I get pulled outside every day.

To date, weeded and tidied up the boysenberry patch, which mostly was tying up loose canes and digging up starts that are outside the perimeter of the bed 

Also weeded and trimmed the “skirt” of the Meyer lemon tree, resulting in random deliveries of lemons in the neighborhood (which also netted me in return a can of organic soda pop and some grapefruit). Harvested most of last year's homemade compost to spread around the lemon tree, now that it was weeded.

Moved on to weeding under the persimmon tree and all this weeding has resulted in green stuff to add to the compost pile, which I am going to start after I finish harvesting the old pile, soon. All this time in the front yard allowed me to meet some new neighbors who are starting from scratch with a vegetable garden this year.

Boysenberries are ready to pick from mid June - mid August
Boysenberries are ready to pick from mid June - mid August
Meanwhile, in the vegetable patch have sown carrots and peas, and transplanted volunteer parsley into the current spring planting bed.

Indoors have sown peppers and leeks for setting out later in the season. Have seedlings of basil, lettuce, Asian veggies, and a few tomatoes that are being carefully babysat until it's time to plant them out.

In the last week I have harvested chard, lettuce, fennel, parsley, celery, arugula, leeks, green garlic, tarragon, broccoli sprouts, cauliflower blossoms (delicious)and baby bok choy, all in small amounts.

That's just the garden stuff. I'm keeping sane and in touch with friends by going for walks, making phone calls, texting, emailing and video chatting with family. It's surprising how freeing it is to have no place to go every single day.

During Napa County's shelter in place directive that protects everyone's health and safety, Napa Master Gardeners are available to answer garden questions by email: or phone at 707-253-4143.  Volunteers will get back to you after they research answers to your questions.

Boysenberry info

Meyer lemon info


Weed info

Vegetable info


Visit our website: to find answers to all of your horticultural questions.