Once again, despite the heat and wind, the South Coast Research and Extension Center opened its doors for the 5th Annual UC ANR Residential Landscape Gardening Open House and Vendor Fair greeting over 625 visitors to the public for a day of presentations, informational booths, demonstrations, and self-guided or docent-led tours of its unique demonstration landscapes and orchard.
Of main interest were the side-by-side landscapes show a wide range of features that can be incorporated into a home landscape to reduce water use, prevent irrigation and storm water run-off, and to reduce the amount of contaminants in run-off that does occur.
Throughout the day there were short talks on a variety of topics given by University of California experts John Kabashima – UCCE Advisor, Karrie Reid – UCCE Advisor, and Cinda Webb – UC Master Food Preserver, and Shavonne Mays – Irvine Ranch Water District – all of which were well-attended. Additionally, Water Dex representatives provided brief presentation on their product.
In addition to the informative presentations, some of the other activities going on throughout the day included:
- California Center for Urban Horticulture promoted the UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars and provided a container planting demonstration using All-Star plant material.
- Staff members of the Irvine Ranch Water District, OC Stormwater, OC Vector Control, and OC Hazardous Waste were on hand to answer homeowner's questions.
- UCCE Master Gardeners demonstrated various types of irrigation spray heads and systems, proper composting techniques, along with how to build a portable garden container; staffed booths with information on a variety of topics and provided hands-on activities for kids.
- Filtrexx and Soil Retention were on hand to demonstrate their portable garden systems, as noted by volunteers promoting the newly opened School Garden Demonstration Training Site.
- Mountain States Nursery displayed plants varieties useful for low water use landscaping.
- Hunter, Water Dex, and Motorola displayed irrigation controllers and sensors to better manage landscape water.
- A big draw was the plant sale featuring UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars and succulents. Proceeds will go to the South Coast REC conference fund for community extension activities.
- Many attendees visited the Italian ice vendor for a refreshing treat and escape from the heat.
- Opportunity drawings held every hour featuring donated items from vendors.
In case you missed out on all the fun of this annual event, be sure to mark your calendar with next year's date:
Saturday, September 27th, 2014
We hope you can join us!!
Interested in the delectable fruits of fall? Check out the UC ANR South Coast Persimmon Tasting on November 22, 2013.
Click here for more information.
Support our local nurseryman, the UC Master Gardeners - Orange County, UC 4-H - Orange County, and other local charities, by attending the 23rd Annual Charity Plant Auction and Chili Cook-Off.
For more event information, download the attached file below.
You have taken the first step to reducing your water use and improving water quality by adjusting your irrigation and making repairs as necessary. Now it's time to create a garden that is low-impact.
A low-impact garden will use less water, minimize run-off, reduce potential water pollutants, decrease green waste, decrease energy consumption and air pollution.
So what can we do to garden “green”?
- Plant the right plants – Mediterranean plants, California natives, succulents, other water-wise plants, California friendly plants, for example: Coral Bells, Sage, Galvezia, Bay Laurel, California Live Oak, Manzanita, California poppy, Ceanothus, Yarrows, Cyrtanthus (South Africa), California Redbud, Mahonia, Arctotis, Statice, Lantana, “Lions tail,” Banksia, Sedum, and Agave, to name a few.
- Plant a lawn only where needed for pets and children
- Use turf alternatives, for example, Carex pansa (plugs, meadow-like, evergreen, takes six to eight months to fill-in, mow two to three times per year, takes moderate traffic) and Buffalo grass (takes one year to completely fill-in)
- Use fertilizer intelligently – use the appropriate amount and keep fertilizer on the landscape, not the pavement
- Create hydrozones – areas where plants have the same water needs (low, medium, high water need plants should be grouped in separate zones)
- Avoid open soil on slopes and next to paving
- Use permeable surfaces
- Drain water to the garden not to the gutter
- Consider water harvesting rain-barrels or storage tanks
- Do not wash down the driveway, etc
- Compost green waste
- Apply mulch to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture
- RELAX and ENJOY!
For more information on what to plant in your landscape, visit: