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Gardening Resources

The following links will help you find all kinds of information about gardening and sustainability on the following topics:

Sustainable gardening
Invasive Plant Council guide:
Don’t Plant a Pest
Plant Right
UC introduction to weeds
Lawn Care Without Pesticides
Natural Lawn Care
Pesticides and Urban Water Quality

Conserving water
These websites will help you manage rainwater, answer some common questions regarding conserving water, explain efficient irrigation systems and talk about plants that are beautiful and have low water needs.
Recyleworks guide to managing water onsite
Irrigation Systems - Drip irrigation and www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/04702.pdf
Plant selection - UC Davis Arboretum All-stars
UC Arboretum brochure: A Waterwise Garden (PDF)
Pervious concrete pavement

Welcoming life into the garden
We can choose plants that are in tune with the natural rhythms of our area providing food and homes for beneficial insects, migratory and native birds, bats, reptiles, and amphibians.  Add some water and the right plants and you can create wildlife habitat in your garden.
Beneficial Insects and Integrated Pest Management
The Ten Most Wanted Bugs (PDF)
CNPS guide to Habitat Gardening
Bay Nature article on Gardening for Wildlife with Native Plants
CNPS guide to Songbird Habitat
Nature Conservancy background on Migratory Birds

Pests and diseases
UC Integrated Pest Management program website - a wealth of information and publications about managing pests
UC Pest notes - detailed information about specific pests
Light Brown Apple Moth - information about this agricultural pest and the quarantine
USDA Fact Sheet on gladiolus rust (PDF)
Plant disease diagnosis – Soil & Plant Lab, Santa Clara / 408-727-0330 

UC Guide to Healthy Lawns - how to select and care for turf
Natural Lawn Care
Lawn Care Without Pesticides
Waterwise Lawn Alternatives (PDF)

Selecting and caring for landscape trees
American Society of Consulting Arborists
Finding tree care from the International Society of Arboriculture
Sudden oak death management guidelines
Oak Mortality Task Force 

Growing edibles
UC Vegetable Center - resources for growing a variety of vegetable crops in your home garden
Selecting Fruit, Nut and Berry Crops for Home Gardens in San Mateo and San Francisco Counties (PDF)
UC California Backyard Orchard - a wealth of information about growing and harvesting fruits and nuts
UC Fruit and Nut Research Center - current research info on various crops
Selecting Fruit, Nut and Berry Crops (PDF)
Culinary Herb Profiles (PDF)
Landscaping with Herbs (PDF)

Soil, compost, and mulch
We can compost and return to our soil all that we grow in the garden and much of the food waste we create in our kitchens.  By doing this we are also nourishing and replenishing the nutrients and life in our soil and keeping our plants healthy.
Healthy Soils
Oregon State Extension information on Improving Garden Soils with Organic Matter (PDF)
Marin Master Gardener article on compost, mulch and amendments
Recycleworks How To Guide: Back Yard Composting and Worm Composting
How to build your own compost bin or worm bin
Sheet Mulching (PDF)
StopWaste (sheet mulching) 

Soil testing
UCCE Master Gardeners of San Mateo & SF Counties does not have a soil analysis lab, but we recommend these labs for soil testing:

Soil & Plant Lab, Santa Clara / 408-727-0330
Perry Lab, Watsonville / 831-722-7606
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply / Grass Valley 888-784-1722
Soil Control lab (also does heavy metals testing) Watsonville / 831-724-5422 

Local arboretums and botanical gardens
San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum
UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley
Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Tilden Park: Native Plants of CA
The Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek
The Gardens at Heather Farm - Walnut Creek, CA
The Arboretum at the University of California Santa Cruz 

Local agencies that support sustainability
BAWSCA: Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency - includes rebates for saving water and water-wise gardening classes
San Mateo County Recycleworks
Alameda County Waste Management Authority “Bay Friendly Landscaping & Gardening”
Bay Friendly Coalition

Native and Mediterranean plants
California Native Plant Society
California Native Garden Foundation
Mediterranean Garden Society

General resources on gardening and sustainability
University of California Garden Web
Pacific Horticulture magazine
Bay Nature magazine
SF Garden For the Environment
Our Water Our World
National Audubon Society
Arbor Day Foundation
The Sustainable Sites Initiative
US EPA Resource Conservation/Greenscapes Program
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Plant Database 
Green Roofs (PDF)


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