Teaches: Plant Diseases
Most people don’t really want to know anything about Plant Diseases until either they have one of their own, or are asked to advise about one. I teach a class about diagnosing Plant Diseases, focusing primarily on infectious plant diseases caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses, while emphasizing that most often what goes wrong with plants in a typical garden or landscape are cultural problems.
I’ve had a lot of practice helping people with their plant problems, volunteering for almost two decades at the UC Berkeley Sick Plant Clinic and heading up the “Hotline” desk for the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program in Santa Clara County since 2009. I took over teaching the Plant Diseases course at Merritt from my UC mentor, Dr. Bob Raabe… an inspirational teacher and all-around good person. Bob taught me that diagnosing plant problems can be challenging and fun. I hope to inspire more detectives in the plant problem world and pass along a few anecdotes about how I have learned to communicate with owners of sick plants.