Spring is springing and gardening activities are in full swing here in LA. As you spend more time in your yard, be sure to adopt good gardening practices that protect Los Angeles’ rivers, creeks, lakes and beaches.
Here are five gardening tips that will protect LA’s watersheds, benefit local wildlife, and keep your family safe and sound as they play:
Go Organic – Utilize an integrated pest management program in your yard to create an organic garden. Need help and inspiration? Check out the University of California Agriculture and Resources Guide that includes integrated pest management tips. And, remember! The use of pesticides and herbicides should always be your last resort. If you need to use them, always follow instructions and check the weather before applying them. And, never let gardening chemicals wash away in the rain.
Nuts About Natives – Plant California natives in your yard and garden. Native plants require less water, which means a lower water bill, they resist pests, and they won’t need fertilizers. Here are some great resources, guides and tools: Theodore Payne Foundation, Calfora’s Planting Guide, California Native Plant Society’s Calscape Tool or the Xerces Society’s Pollinator-Friendly Native Plant Lists
Dispose Unwanted Garden Products S.A.F.E.ly – LA Sanitation and Environment offers seven permanent S.A.F.E. Centers that accept unwanted fertilizers and pesticides free of charge. The list of S.A.F.E. Centers can be found here.
Go Non-Toxic and Natural – Mulching and clearing landscaping of debris are just two ways to control pests and weeds naturally. LA Sanitation and Environment can help with both. More information on how to obtain free mulch can be found here. The City of LA offers the collection of excess yard trimmings once-a-year to all households serviced by LASAN. Please call LASAN’s Customer Care Center (800-773-2489) to schedule a collection.
Be Rain Ready – Harvesting rainwater for your garden is a win-win-win. You win by saving money on your monthly water bill. Your garden wins by receiving rainwater that is naturally free of chlorine, fluoride and chemicals. And, our environment wins because rainwater harvesting keeps water onsite and minimizes the amount of water flowing into our waterways. Information about rain barrel rebates through the LA Metropolitan Water District can be found here.
What gardening practices have you adopted to protect LA’s watersheds? We’d love to hear from you. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll highlight your gardening practice on our social media platforms.