So named for the nine palm trees that line the street, this two-acre site in San Jose has been established for Master Gardener (MG) research use. In order to test the principles that University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) promotes, MGs carry out trials at Nine Palms on best gardening practices and plant varieties best suited for our area, Santa Clara County. Ongoing research projects encompass all facets of gardening from soil preparation to planting density.
This is the largest facility for which Santa Clara County MGs currently care. On site are a large greenhouse, a shade house and several storage buildings as well as over one acre that can be used for annual vegetable and fruit trials. Most of the vegetable and fruit trials, completed in one growing season, emphasize best practices that are applicable to the home gardener.
At this facility, Master Gardeners investigate multiple growing methods and planting times to determine what works best for our unique climates. In recent years trials have included Mediterranean peppers, new vegetable varieties, tomato trials, year-round cut flowers, carrots, winter-grown edible greens and many others. Each year there are at least 10 different annual trials of vegetables, ornamental plants or fruits. There are also longer trials such as the best and most successful blueberries to grow in our area. Some of the most recent trials are accessible below.