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Getting Green in the 2012 - how homeowners can get some green while they go green! | Environment

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Getting Green in the 2012 - how homeowners can get some green while they go green!
Getting Green in the 2012 - how homeowners can get some green while they go green!

Green Gardening is all about the wise use of water in our landscapes … for the benefit of our rivers, our air, and even our soil. Oh, yes, and us, too! Green gardening works because it's in harmony with the natural world. Rather than fighting nature, you're working with nature.

The principles are simple -

Right Plant for the Right Place (How much sun? What kind of soil? Slope? How much space? How is area used?) Example: don't plant cactus by the swimming pool, don't plant a 10' holly in front of a window or you'll be pruning it forever ... plant something that grows to 3'. Sounds obvious, but think about all the hedged shrubs you see in our neighborhoods and strip malls … there's a reason for all the squared and rounded plants seen everywhere (!) - wrong plant for the wrong place!!! Another example: the lawn! The wide-spread use of lawns in our area and our over-watering of same is the reason lawns have gotten a bad name ... they guzzle water! There are alternatives – wonderful alternatives, even native grasses that require way less water.

Mulch to keep ground cool and reduce evaporation.

Prevent Water Run-off and Waste with good drainage, smart irrigation practices, rain gardens and rain harvesting. This helps to filtrate out chemicals and toxins by using the natural purification properties of our soil. It also prevents wasted water from running down the street, and in times of “big water events” (storms), reduces the volume hitting our storm drains and the potential erosion that can cause.

Reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, fungicides and insecticides by using these green gardening practices.

This year Folsom and Orangevale residents can go green – and get some green for doing so! Rebates are currently available for irrigation upgrades and smart controllers (available thru both Folsom, Orange Vale and San Juan Water). And, now is the time to take advantage of this because those metered rates are coming! Many residents will soon be receiving information comparing their flat rate to a metered rate with their 2012 water bills in preparation for the switch in 2013 to fully metered rates. Take advantage of the monthly water conservation workshops that will be starting up in the spring and the water-wise house calls where you can get some hands-on, in-house education on everything from adjusting your timers to recommendations on plant material.  They want to help – let them!  Contact your local water provider to schedule your very own house call or find out about upcoming classes: City of Folsom, San Juan Water District, Orange Vale Water District.

In the meantime, visit the Water Efficient Landscape (WEL) gardens in our area to get inspired. The San Juan Water District demonstration garden (9935 Auburn Folsom Road, Granite Bay) is one of the best.  Water-wise gardens don't have to be all lava rock and cactus. They can have courtyards and edibles in the front and chickens in the back. They can be modern or tropical or cottage ... wildlife friendly or native. Sophisticated or rustic. You can have the garden of your dreams and be green, too!

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