Workshop offers basics of blueberry selection, planting, care Feb. 16

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Liz Milazzo, field production manager at the UC Santa Cruz Farm, examines a blueberry bush. She will lead a workshop February 16 on growing blueberries in the Monterey Bay area.

Nurseries in the Santa Cruz area are stocking young blueberry plants, so now is the time to plant your own berry bush. “People don’t usually think about growing blueberries in Santa Cruz,” says Liz Milazzo, field production manager at the UC Santa Cruz Farm, “but by paying attention to a few important factors they can be a great addition to your garden.”

You can learn the keys to successful blueberry growing at an upcoming workshop, “Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden." The workshop will take place on Saturday, February 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UCSC Farm.

Milazzo will talk about how to choose varieties, select an appropriate location, prepare the planting hole or container, and create the soil conditions that blueberries need to thrive. She’ll also demonstrate pruning techniques and discuss the ongoing care blueberries need to produce a bumper crop.

Cost of the blueberry workshop is $30 for the general public, $20 for members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm and Garden, and $5 for UCSC students (with student ID) payable the day of the class (check or cash only). Online registration is also available at http://blueberry.bpt.me.

Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a snack. Heavy rain cancels; rainout date is Saturday, February 23.

For more information, call (831) 459-3240, email casfs@ucsc.edu, or see http://casfs.ucsc.edu. Workshops are cosponsored by the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems and the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden; UCSC student participation is supported by UCSC’s Measure 43.

The UCSC Farm is located 1/4 mile up the gravel road above the Blacksmith Shop; free public parking is available in the parking lot at the corner of Coolidge Drive and Ranch View Road, just inside the main entrance to the UCSC campus. For directions, see http://casfs.ucsc.edu/about/directions-2.