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Firewise Landscaping

Defensible space zones
Defensible space zones
Fire season is upon us. Despite this year's drought-ending rains, lush vegetation will soon dry out, and if not managed properly, can become fuel. Learn how you can make your home safer by creating defensible space around your home. Click here.

Water-wise Gardening

Photo by Janet Gilmore
Photo by Janet Gilmore
As seasonal temperatures increase, so will water usage in the landscape. Make sure you’re watering wisely and efficiently. Check your irrigation system for proper water pressure, clogged sprinkler heads and leaks. Create zones of plants with similar water needs. Water early in the morning when soil evaporation is minimal. Apply 3-4” of organic mulch to help retain moisture. For more tips, see the UC ANR Green Blog.

Support Our Local Bees

Female sweat bee. Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey.
Female sweat bee. Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey.
California is home to over 1600 native bees. These hardworking insects are vital to a thriving ecosystem, but they are under threat from habitat loss, pesticide use and other stressors. To support our native bees, make sure your garden includes a mix of native plants that flower from late winter into the fall. Since a majority of native bees live in the ground, provide areas of bare soil or ground that is lightly mulched or covered with a thin layer of leaves. And do not use insecticides, particularly neonicotinoids. To learn more about some of our native bees, click here. For a list of bee-friendly native plants, visit this site.

Keeping Aphids Under Control

ladybug ucanr-square
As you’re out in the garden, do you see small, pear-shaped insects on tender buds, shoots and veggies? These are most likely aphids and damage to plants can include leaf curl, sooty mold fungus, stunted growth and transmission of viruses to other plants. Check your plants regularly and hose off aphids with a stream of water to keep the populations down. Lady beetles (ladybugs) are voracious eaters of aphids. For more on how to manage aphids, click here.

YouTube Channel - Latest Videos

  • CoastsideFeb2024Cover
    Starting from Scratch: The Miracle of Seeds

    Growing your own plants from seed has a lot of advantages: more variety, less cost and getting a head start on the growing season are just a few. Practicality aside, it's just plain miraculous to grow plants from seeds. The process of putting hard, dry,...

  • Coastside Cover Jan 2024
    A New Year in The Garden: Inspirations for 2024

    It's January and, although it may be cold and damp, the days are getting longer by a few seconds each day—just enough additional daylight to stir a gardener's blood. While plants and soil are taking their winter rest, it's a great time for us...

  • Coastside Cover Dec 2023
    The Rain Garden: A Simply Elegant Solution to Stormwater Pollution

    Last winter's epic rainstorms have caused many of us to think about what we can do to mitigate the impact of heavy downpours on our communities. As it happens, the impervious surfaces that keep us dry and mud-free (our homes, patios, driveways, etc.)...