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Earth Day
Conservation & What it Means for Nature

Experience Spring in the Garden

There are many ways to help our planet and sometimes it's the small gestures that not only help Mother Earth, but also our own gardens.

Join us to learn about sustainable gardening and ways improve our environment such as composting, raising earthworms (vermiculture), planting habitat gardens and using native plants, all family friendly ways to be active in the movement. We will also be discussing ways to use natural materials instead of plastics.

Roger's Gardens will make a donation to the Surfrider Foundation for every container, over 1 gallon, returned to the store.

Surfrider Foundation Website




MULCHING & WATER CONSERVATION:

BENEFITS OF MULCHING

Mulch helps improve the quality of the soil and protect your plants. Mulch benefits both ornamental and edible garden plants. Here are five reasons why you should use mulch in your gardens:

Conserve Water
• You can conserve up to 30% on your water bill by using 2-3" of mulch in your garden. The soil won't dry out as quickly and you can water deeply, and less often to save money and help conserve our valuable resource of water.

Protects Plant Roots
• When you mulch, you're protecting roots from excessive heat. Keeping the roots cool in hot weather keeps them stronger and less stressed, allowing for it to utilize water in the soil all the way to the tips of the leaves. It keeps the plant looking its best.

Suppress Weeds
• To prevent weeds from growing, completely cover area with mulch to block the sun from getting through so seeds will not germinate, and you'll spend less time working at your least favorite garden chore.

• Landscape cloth can help a little but making sure you always have a good healthy layer of mulch is less work, less money and easier to maintain. Plus, any weed seeds that blow into your garden can grow right on top of the landscape cloth.

Creates a Finished Look
• Using mulch gives your garden a "finished" look.
• Refreshing once or twice a year will keep it looking well maintained and inviting to all who visit your garden.

TYPES OF MULCH

Shredded Redwood or Cedar: Organic and easy to spread, slowly giving your soil nitrogen and oxygen as it breaks down. It also helps loosen your soil. It adds food for earthworms and improves your soil.

Bark: Small, medium, large and mixes are slower to break down, depending on its size. Redwood barks come in a variety of sizes to personalize your garden. In smaller gardens, using mini orchid bark utilizes its size in proportion to your garden to not look out of place. Conversely, using larger bark in larger areas helps to bring a natural look underneath your trees and shrubs. Bark has all the same benefits of shredded mulch but breaks down a little slower.

Compost: Using compost directly on top of the soil is an almost immediate shot of love for your soil. Organic compost contains cow manure, worm castings and other ingredients for soil that are entirely beneficial. It helps add micronutrients to the soil which feed the good nematodes and help plants roots get stronger, open up better to fertilizer and promote better plants. The worm castings in products such as Malibu Compost also work through the plant to make it less appealing to sucking insects like aphids and white flies. It is the best for your soil but doesn't look quite as finished.

Artificial :(black, red, green, rubber) - JUST SAY NO. These toxic laden garden mulches are made from ground up tires and are bad for soil. They break down and leech chemicals that are NOT beneficial into your soil. They are not really "recycling" because this can be done within a factory where the smell of the breakdown is contained, instead of a summer afternoon in your backyard where it smells terrible.

ALL ABOUT NATIVE PLANTS

Growing natives can be for some, an all-encompassing effort. Some gardeners enjoy creating an entire Southern California ecosystem for local flora and fauna. For others who might not want to start an entire new landscape, you can tuck natives in among established plants to help and attract native birds, butterflies and pollinators while keeping the garden you already have.

Native plants can be:
• drought tolerant (chapparal)
• water loving (riparian)
• sun plants
• shade plants (understory)
• trees
• shrubs
• flowers
• pollinator attractors
• habitat for local birds

If you consider our local landscape you'll be reminded of tall, scruffy chaparral plants, salt tolerant scrub bushes, seaside dune loving succulents, riparian waterways filled with grasses and trees, mighty oaks and of course, the incredible wildflowers that bloom at various times throughout the year.

With the amazing palette that native can offer it would be to your benefit to add some to your garden, while helping the environment by returning small pieces of our native culture to the earth.

Recommended Native Plants:

Trees - oaks (Quercus), sycamores (Platanus), manzanita (Arctostaphylos), redbud (Cercis), pine (pinus), California lilac (ceanothus) and so many more.

Shrubs - manzanita varieties (arctostaphylos), coyote bush varieties (baccharis), California lilac varieties (ceanothus), flannel bush (fremontadendron), bush mallow (malacothamnus), current (ribes), sage (salvia), Toyon (heteromeles).

Flowers - monkey flower (mimulus), milkweedpenstemon, California fuchsia (epilobium) matilija poppy (romneya coulteri), penstemon, yarrow (achillea), California poppy (eschholtzia c.), aster (a. californica), and many, many more.

Unique - succulents live forever,(dudleya varieties) and native grape vine (vitus californica), coral bells varieties (huechera)

How to Care & Maintain Native Plants Successfully:

Planting: Good drainage is always essential but making sure your clay soil can handle a plant that might need more drainage will be the secret to successful plants. Always water for the needs of the plant, which will usually follow the seasons here in Southern California, rain in the winter months, followed by slowly warming weather until the blistering heat of August/September/October.

Watering: Water your plants to get them established and then follow the rule of the seasons (keeping in mind that for the previous decade or so we have had drought conditions and that we should have regular rain December - March).

Maintenance: Other than seasonal pruning, most natives just need companions and to be left with enough space for them to grow naturally. Plants will likely look a little better in an environment that is less harsh than their native area, but you can let them go or prune them depending on your preference of how they look in your garden. Letting plants go to seed will allow it to grow flowers next year. Not pruning grasses and shrubs until late winter will provide food and shelter for wildlife.

MULCHING & WATER CONSERVATION:

BENEFITS OF MULCHING

Mulch helps improve the quality of the soil and protect your plants. Mulch benefits both ornamental and edible garden plants. Here are five reasons why you should use mulch in your gardens:

Conserve Water
• You can conserve up to 30% on your water bill by using 2-3" of mulch in your garden. The soil won't dry out as quickly and you can water deeply, and less often to save money and help conserve our valuable resource of water.

Protects Plant Roots
• When you mulch, you're protecting roots from excessive heat. Keeping the roots cool in hot weather keeps them stronger and less stressed, allowing for it to utilize water in the soil all the way to the tips of the leaves. It keeps the plant looking its best.

Suppress Weeds
• To prevent weeds from growing, completely cover area with mulch to block the sun from getting through so seeds will not germinate, and you'll spend less time working at your least favorite garden chore.

• Landscape cloth can help a little but making sure you always have a good healthy layer of mulch is less work, less money and easier to maintain. Plus, any weed seeds that blow into your garden can grow right on top of the landscape cloth.

Creates a Finished Look
• Using mulch gives your garden a "finished" look.
• Refreshing once or twice a year will keep it looking well maintained and inviting to all who visit your garden.

TYPES OF MULCH

Shredded Redwood or Cedar: Organic and easy to spread, slowly giving your soil nitrogen and oxygen as it breaks down. It also helps loosen your soil. It adds food for earthworms and improves your soil.

Bark: Small, medium, large and mixes are slower to break down, depending on its size. Redwood barks come in a variety of sizes to personalize your garden. In smaller gardens, using mini orchid bark utilizes its size in proportion to your garden to not look out of place. Conversely, using larger bark in larger areas helps to bring a natural look underneath your trees and shrubs. Bark has all the same benefits of shredded mulch but breaks down a little slower.

Compost: Using compost directly on top of the soil is an almost immediate shot of love for your soil. Organic compost contains cow manure, worm castings and other ingredients for soil that are entirely beneficial. It helps add micronutrients to the soil which feed the good nematodes and help plants roots get stronger, open up better to fertilizer and promote better plants. The worm castings in products such as Malibu Compost also work through the plant to make it less appealing to sucking insects like aphids and white flies. It is the best for your soil but doesn't look quite as finished.

Artificial :(black, red, green, rubber) - JUST SAY NO. These toxic laden garden mulches are made from ground up tires and are bad for soil. They break down and leech chemicals that are NOT beneficial into your soil. They are not really "recycling" because this can be done within a factory where the smell of the breakdown is contained, instead of a summer afternoon in your backyard where it smells terrible.

ALL ABOUT NATIVE PLANTS

Growing natives can be for some, an all-encompassing effort. Some gardeners enjoy creating an entire Southern California ecosystem for local flora and fauna. For others who might not want to start an entire new landscape, you can tuck natives in among established plants to help and attract native birds, butterflies and pollinators while keeping the garden you already have.

Native plants can be:
• drought tolerant (chapparal)
• water loving (riparian)
• sun plants
• shade plants (understory)
• trees
• shrubs
• flowers
• pollinator attractors
• habitat for local birds

If you consider our local landscape you'll be reminded of tall, scruffy chaparral plants, salt tolerant scrub bushes, seaside dune loving succulents, riparian waterways filled with grasses and trees, mighty oaks and of course, the incredible wildflowers that bloom at various times throughout the year.

With the amazing palette that native can offer it would be to your benefit to add some to your garden, while helping the environment by returning small pieces of our native culture to the earth.

Recommended Native Plants:

Trees - oaks (Quercus), sycamores (Platanus), manzanita (Arctostaphylos), redbud (Cercis), pine (pinus), California lilac (ceanothus) and so many more.

Shrubs - manzanita varieties (arctostaphylos), coyote bush varieties (baccharis), California lilac varieties (ceanothus), flannel bush (fremontadendron), bush mallow (malacothamnus), current (ribes), sage (salvia), Toyon (heteromeles).

Flowers - monkey flower (mimulus), milkweedpenstemon, California fuchsia (epilobium) matilija poppy (romneya coulteri), penstemon, yarrow (achillea), California poppy (eschholtzia c.), aster (a. californica), and many, many more.

Unique - succulents live forever,(dudleya varieties) and native grape vine (vitus californica), coral bells varieties (huechera)

How to Care & Maintain Native Plants Successfully:

Planting: Good drainage is always essential but making sure your clay soil can handle a plant that might need more drainage will be the secret to successful plants. Always water for the needs of the plant, which will usually follow the seasons here in Southern California, rain in the winter months, followed by slowly warming weather until the blistering heat of August/September/October.

Watering: Water your plants to get them established and then follow the rule of the seasons (keeping in mind that for the previous decade or so we have had drought conditions and that we should have regular rain December - March).

Maintenance: Other than seasonal pruning, most natives just need companions and to be left with enough space for them to grow naturally. Plants will likely look a little better in an environment that is less harsh than their native area, but you can let them go or prune them depending on your preference of how they look in your garden. Letting plants go to seed will allow it to grow flowers next year. Not pruning grasses and shrubs until late winter will provide food and shelter for wildlife.