State Water Board Approves Emergency Regulation to Increase Water Conservation

Due to the severe continuing drought in California, on July 15, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board approved emergency regulations to ensure water agencies and their customers conserve outdoor water use or face possible fines.

 Almost 60% of water use is for outdoor landscaping, mostly turf.  Californians will be expected to  stop washing down driveways and sidewalks; watering of outdoor landscapes that cause excess; using a hose to wash a motor vehicle, unless the hose is fitting with using a shut off nozzle and using potable water in a fountain or decorative water feature unless water is circulated.

Local agencies can ask courts to impose fines of up to $500 for failure to adhere to these water restrictions. 

 This emergency regulation will be in place for 270 days.  The State Water Board will revisit this regulation and may enhance the restrictions as the drought continues.

 One way of reducing your outdoor water is to remove turf.  Many water districts are offering rebates to homeowners – as much as $3.00 a square foot – to remove the turf from your property in favor of California friendly plants.  Contact your local water agency for information on turf removal rebates or go to SoCal Water Smart.  LA County is offering free mulch at 11 different locations across the county.  For more information, go to Be Waterwise.    You will save money and our precious water.

California Landscape Consultants

Be Fire Smart!

April 30, 2014

Be Fire Smart!

High winds and hot, dry weather = fire threat

Southern California is experiencing extremely hot, dry weather, compounded by powerful Santa Ana winds, gusting up to 75 mph in some areas, prompting red flag warnings.  Temperatures in some areas could reach 100°.   The prolonged drought has made the threat of fire very high. 

Homeowners can take measures to keep fire from their homes. 

  • Clear leaves and debris from gutters, eaves, patios and decks.
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and clear all brush and dead vegetation away from house.
  • Keep tree tops pruned.
  • When planting, choose native fire-resistant landscape.

 

 

 

 

High winds and hot, dry weather = fire threat

Southern California is experiencing extremely hot, dry weather, compounded by high winds.  Powerful Santa Ana winds are gusting up to 75 mph in some areas, prompting red flag warnings.  Temperatures in some areas could reach 100°.   The prolonged drought has made the threat of fire very high. 

Homeowners can take measures to keep fire from their homes.

  • Clear leaves and debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks.
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and clear all brush and dead vegetation away from house.
  • Keep tree tops pruned.
  • Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
  • When planting, choose native fire-resistant landscape.
irrigation education

Irrigation and Pesticide Training for Spanish Speaking Gardeners

In conjunction with the Department of Pesticide Regulation and the University of California Cooperative Extension, William Baker & Associates is conducting training for Spanish speaking gardeners in the areas of irrigation and proper pesticide use and safety.  Classes are taught entirely in Spanish.  To date, over 300 gardeners have been trained in ten separate classes.  On April 22, 2014, we had 48 attendees at the San Marcos Community Center in San Marcos.   Instructors were Jaime Bayona and Lea Corkidi.  Two continuing education credits were earned by DPR license and certificate holders.

Two upcoming training classes will be held in May:  May 19th at the LA Arboretum, 301 N Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007 (8:00 AM to 4:00 PM) and May 22nd at Western Metropolitan Water District, 14205 Meridian Pkwy, March Air Reserve Base, CA 92508 (2:00 PM – 5:00 PM).  Continuing education credits will be available to DPR license and certificate holders.  Topics will be pesticide use and safety and irrigation.

landsape consulting

Go Drought Tolerant!

 

On January 17, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown declared California a state of emergency due to drought.  California is facing the worst drought in years and every Californian is being asked to reduce their water by 20%.  For most homeowners, the biggest water user is green grass.  Sprinkler heads come in different sizes.  Therefore, the rate of flow will be determined by the head-size, the frictional losses in the supply pipework, and the head of water available. Lawn sprinklers are usually small pop-ups putting out 1.5 to 2 gals. per minute.  For example, if each valve is operating 10 sprinklers at 1.5 gals per sprinkler, you are using 15 gallons of water per minute.  (10 x 1.5 =15 gallons per minute.)  Let’s say you run your sprinklers for 10 minutes each day.  That is 150 gallons of water per day!   No matter how you add it up, that’s a lot of water! 

The easiest way to reduce water is to reduce green grass.  Drought tolerant plants adapt easily to our California landscape and require water infrequently once established.   Even better are the California native plants which cannot tolerate drip irrigation and many need almost no irrigation at all.  A light watering to clean off the leaves is often sufficient.  Another plus is that many native plants are fire resistant, reducing the risk of wildfire around your home.  Native plants provide natural habitats for native birds, hummingbirds, bumble bees and butterflies.

The top ten natives most easily grown in the Southern California garden are:  Pigeon Point, California Lilacs, Blue-Eyed Grass, which can be used a ground cover, Coffeeberry, which provides berries for native birds, Deer Grass, Manzanitas, Monkey flowers, Penstemons, Salivias and California Fushias.  Aside from Deer Grass, they all produce beautiful flowers and add beauty to your garden as well as reducing your use of water.    

 

fire damage assessment

Benefits of a Prescribed Burn

Just as with natural and human-ignited fires in the past, prescribed burning today accomplishes many important ecological functions and landowner objectives.

The benefits of prescribed burning are many. A burn removes accumulated fuels and therefore the risk of intense fires. Prescribed burning also changes the composition and density of existing vegetation. Burns at regular intervals reduce competing vegetation under forest stands. In pasture and range systems, fire is used to reduce encroachment of shrubs and invasive weeds. Wildlife habitat is improved with prescribed burns. New shrub, herb, and grass sprouts capture the quick flush of nutrients into the soil after a fire and are often more nutritious and palatable than older plants. Fires promote flower, seed, and fruit production, thus increasing available nuts and fruits for wildlife. Insects also increase rapidly after most fires.

Prescribed burning is one of the most cost effective forest management tools that the forest landowner has at his disposal for pine stand management. It provides multiple benefits for both timber and wildlife. These fires are managed in such a way as to minimize the emission of smoke and maximize the benefits to the site. Cost-share assistance is available from USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs to help with forest management.

California Landscape Consultants

Integrated Pest Management Program and Policy

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an approach to pest control that utilizes regular monitoring to determine if and when treatments are needed. IPM employs physical, mechanical, cultural, biological and educational tactics to keep pest numbers low enough to prevent intolerable damage or annoyance.

1.  Adherence to laws and regulations

2.  Training and certification programs

3.  Pesticide posting, application, and reporting procedures
4.  Current alternatives to pesticide use
5.  Emergency procedures for pesticides spills and exposures
6.  Goals for pest control