Gardeners Know All the Dirt

In spite of our “adobe brick” soil, we manage to have quite lovely gardens in Milpitas. Many are giving up manicured lawns for drought-tolerant landscaping. Plants are selected to attract hummingbirds and butterflies common to our area to our gardens. 


Heritage Tree Program
Recognize and protect individual trees or groves of trees. Includes photos of significant and historic trees in Milpitas’ gardens.

Neighborhood Beautification Ordinance
The Neighborhood Beautification Ordinance was adopted to enhance the quality and appearance of our community. It requires a minimum level of upkeep for properties and prevents activities that detract from a residential atmosphere.

Our City Forest
Free trees for front yard gardens or public pathways. All you have to do is call either 998-7337 or City Hall at 586-2600.

Santa Clara Valley Water District Landscape Rebate Program Qualifying Plant List
Customers are required to select plants from the following plant list in order to meet the minimum 50% plant coverage requirement for the Landscape Rebate Program.

Borrow or Rent Tools

A Tool Shed Rentals
Power tools for getting that garden project done, such as small tractors, rototillers, chippers, etc.

Lend-A-Tool Shed
Milpitas residents, businesses, property owners and community groups may borrow these tools free of charge! No power tools.


SF Bay A Subtropical Area?
Does anyone know if the San Francisco Bay Area can support tropical plants outdoors? I’m wondering, as I see tropical hibiscus planted outdoors while my gardening books say they aren’t hardy in this area.

Plant Map forMilpitas
Zip code 95035, Milpitas CA is in USDA Hardiness Zone 9b: 25F to 30F. Using updated climate data through 2010, 95035 is in the Plant maps Hardiness Zone 9a: 20F to 25F. The average first frost in 95035 is between December 11 – 20, while the average last frost occurs between February 1 – 10. 95035 rarely has days where the temperature exceeds 86°F. The average annual high temperature in 95035 is 71°F and the average annual low temperature is 48°F. The average high temperature in July (Summer) is 84°F, while the average high temperature in January (Winter) is 57°F.

Sunset climate zones: San Francisco Bay Area and inland
ZONE 17: Marine effects in Southern Oregon, Northern and Central California
The climate in this zone features mild, wet, almost frostless winters and cool summers with frequent fog or wind. On most days and in most places, the fog tends to come in high and fast, creating a cooling and humidifying blanket between the sun and the earth, reducing the intensity of the light and sunshine. Some heat-loving plants (citrus, hibiscus, gardenia) don’t get enough heat to fruit or flower reliably. In a 20-year period, the lowest winter temperatures in Zone 17 ranged from 36 to 23°F (2 to ?5°C). The lowest temperatures on record range from 30 to 20°F (?1 to ?7°C).Of further interest in this heat-starved climate are the highs of summer, normally in the 60 to 75°F (16 to 24°C) range. The average highest temperature in Zone 17 is only 97°F (36°C). In all the other adjacent climate zones, average highest temperatures are in the 104 to 116°F (40 to 47°C) range.


Guide to Home Composting
The work upon which this information is based was performed pursuant to a contract with the County of Santa Clara. Composting is a practical and convenient way to handle yard trimmings. It’s easy to do, keeps useful materials from being disposed in landfills, and compost improves soil and benefits plants growing in it.

SCC Consumer and Environmental Protection Agency
Provides backyard composting classes during gardening months at locations around the valley, but no longer in Milpitas.

Gardens of Note

Butterfly Garden at Sunnyhills UMC
Sunny afternoons bring out the butterflies and bees overwintering in the evergreens and scrap piles. And, of course, the bunnies come out to play (along with a few hunting cats) in the early evening.
355 Dixon Rd.

Landscape Assistance

Call 811 Before You Dig!
Underground Service Alert (USA) is a free service for homeowners, excavators and professional contractors who are digging, blasting, trenching, drilling, grading, or excavating.

Kim Parker Plants, Inc.
Our office plants, plant rentals, plant sales and plant maintenance guarantees the best design, plants and services at competitive rates supported by superior customer service and technical expertise.
430 Evans Rd.
(408) 262-8989



California Garden & Landscape History Society
CG&LHS is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the celebration of the beauty, wealth, and diversity of California gardens and landscapes.

California Native Plant Society
This is a group for fun plant conversations, plant ID, and sharing of information and photos. We welcome everyone who has interest in topics related to native plants of California, from the greenest novice to the career professional.

Green Thumbs Garden Club
Members meet in the Police Station’s Community Room at 7 PM. Review does not accurately reflect meeting dates. Occasionally there are speakers at the meetings who present new ideas about growing flowers or even vegetables. Members are all very helpful to one another, so if you just cannot get that special plant to grow, try asking the Green Thumbs for some useful advice.

Gardening with Natives
A special interest group of the California Native Plant Society’s local Chapter which meets on the first Thursday of each month at 7p in the Community Library. The group is open to all, and includes a mix of seasoned native plant gardeners as well as beginners. Social media: YouTubeFacebook, Meetup, and Twitter.

Local (Milpitas) Home Gardeners Club 2018
This is a community based home gardening club begun to provide education, share pointers, trade and exchange, and overall support each other in building productive and healthy home gardens.

Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County
Scientific and educational purposes: promotes horticultural education and service to the community and provides continuing horticulture enrichment for members.


Creepy Calling
Milpitas-based interior landscaper Parker buys “good bugs”–like ladybugs and wasps without stingers–and brings them into buildings.

Julianne’s not so Secret Garden
Julianne is a San Francisco gardener. My favorite part of her site is her “snail ratings.” For each plant in her garden, she rates each one as to how much snails like them.

Less Toxic Pest Management
Common household pesticides show up in treated wastewater and in Bay Area creeks, sometimes at levels that can harm sensitive aquatic life. These fact sheets are designed to help you manage pests in a less toxic manner.

New quarantine zones are added for light brown apple moth
By Holly Hayes, Mercury News, 3/17/09
More Santa Clara County gardeners will find themselves in a quarantine zone following two new discoveries of the invasive agricultural pest known as the light brown apple moth. The new boundary, set by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, includes an additional 64 square miles in the Milpitas area. County agriculture officials are reminding home gardeners who live inside the quarantine area that anything grown inside the zone may not be removed from the property – not even to share with a neighbor.

Pests & Control
Got something bugging you? Advice on everything from mosquitoes to deer.

Planting Guides

Garden-to-Table Guide to Tomatoes
Tips for growing and caring for tomato plants, plus Sunset Magazine’s favorite recipes come harvest time.

Go Native Garden Tour
Not only information about the tour, but also lots of information about native plant growing, and seed and cutting exchanges in the SF Bay Area.

Growing In A Drought: The Best Plants That Thrive With Little Water
We’ve engaged in extreme water conservation tactics for the past five years, and it looks like we need to keep them up. If you are looking for a luscious garden indoors and out, here’s a list of plants that need little water to thrive.

Lemon Tree Growing
Meyer lemons grow well in our soil and climate. Here’s information n how to make yours thrive and ideas for what to do with your backyard crop.

Rose Propagation and Pruning
In the dormant season, it is very easy to root cuttings of your roses.

Sunset: How to Live in the West
Just about all you need to know to successfully garden and improve your home in the west.

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