& Indigenous Plants
Native and indigenous plants are already accustomed to San Joaquin County's
unique climate. These plants require little water, little fertilizer and
very little care.
horticultural staff of the UC Davis Arboretum have identified
100 All Star plants. These plants are tough,
reliable plants that have been tested in the Arboretum, are easy to grow, don’t
need a lot of water, have few problems with pests or diseases, and have
outstanding qualities in the garden. Many of them are California native plants
and support native birds and insects. We are pleased to recommend these great
valley-wise gardens. Most of these All-Star plants can be
successfully planted and grown throughout California.
The word xeriscaping is greek for "dry landscaping." Xeriscaping or xerogardening refers to landscaping and gardening
without the use of or minimal use of irrigation. It is generally a
practice promoted in regions that are subject to frequent droughts. Under
these drought conditions, xeriscape plants will tend to survive and thrive,
while more ornamental plants may be stunted or unable to survive.
Pesticides and Fertilizers Properly and in the Right Amounts
If a little is good, then more is better is definitely not the mentality to use
when it comes to pesticides and fertilizers. Always follow the
manufacturers instructions when it comes to application methods and amounts.
Be particularly careful not to over water your lawn or landscape after applying
pesticides and fertilizers. Remember, everything that goes down the storm
drain eventually leads to the Delta. Poisons from pesticides have ill
effects on the ecosystem of the Delta not to mention that two-thirds of all
Californians get their drinking water from the Delta!
Less-Toxic and Non-Toxic Pesticides
Keep your kids and pets safe by using non-toxic and less-toxic pesticides in the
home landscape and garden. These days, there are a lot of effective
non-toxic and less-toxic pesticides for sale at your local nursery or home
Master Gardener Program is a program that is under the University of California
Cooperative Extension that is designed to assist residents with landscape and
gardening issues. The Master Gardener's IPM or Integrated Pest Management
program features tons of information how to deal with pests, diseases and fungus
effectively. You can find the Master Gardeners at many County events.
You can contact the Master Gardeners at 953-6112 or visit them on the web at
http://sjmastergardeners.ucdavis.edu for more information.
Our Water, Our World
Program is a program that helps to identify non-toxic and less-toxics methods of
pest eradication. Some San Joaquin home improvement stores are involved
with this program. The Our Water, Our World program distributes
information sheets on effective pest control and uses special shelf labels to
help customer identify of non-toxic and less-toxic pesticide choices.
There are many natural fertilizers available at your local local
nursery of home improvement center. These fertilizers range from steer and
chicken manure to fertilizer blends made from natural materials and targeted
towards different plant categories such as roses or vegetables. Natural
fertilizers tend to release nutrients slowly and feed plants over a longer
period of time than chemical fertilizers. Natural fertilizers may also
help to amend poor soils by enriching them with organics.
fertilizers give plants a jolt of instant nutrition but there may be some
downside to that. Chemical fertilizers can burn plants if not used
properly, may build up salts in the soil over time and can also produce new
vegetative growth quickly that the plants root system may not be able to
Stop throwing away kitchen scraps and improve your soil by starting a
compost pile. Click on the links for more
information on composting.
Check your irrigation system every month or so to make sure that you are indeed
watering your landscape and not the sidewalk or your neighbor's car. Take
care of any irrigation issues such as broken spray heads promptly. Use a
moisture meter to help you determine when and how much to water your landscape.
Only After Sundown
Irrigate only after sundown to avoid water loss through evaporation.
Every home should have at least one rain barrel, if not three or four.
If just 100,000 people out of San Joaquin County's estimated 700,000 population
were to have just one 55 gallon rain barrel, it would save 5.5 million gallons
of water every year! Remember that rain barrels breed mosquitos, so
contact San Joaquin County
Mosquito and Vector Control to get some free mosquito fish. Goldfish
work pretty well, too and cost only a couple of bucks per dozen at you local pet
an Herb Garden
Many herbs, once established, grow like weeds with many even surviving
through San Joaquin winters. Oregano, thyme, rosemary and tarragon are
good all year round candidates while basil, marjoram and cilantro are good warm
weather choices that tend to die back in the winter but usually leave behind a
few seeds for the Spring. Using herbs in your cooking can help your food
to taste great without adding that seasoning in a jar (that ends up being mostly
a Victory Garden
If you have a large landscape or even if you have a small one, plant a
vegetable garden. Grow your favorites and you will likely be eating the
best tasting vegetables that you have ever had for the cost of a few packages of
seeds and some care. Tomatoes and peppers are local favorites for both the taste and the
money that you save versus buying them from the store. Many other vegetables, melons and
fruits do very well in San Joaquin's climate. Have questions or need some
help with a gardening issue? The San Joaquin County Master Gardeners are
here to help. Call the Master Gardener Hotline at 953-6112 or visit them
on the web at
Ditch the bag and
easy, keeps your lawn looking great and best of all - no more heavy bags of
grass clippings to dispose of. Click on the links for details.