Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Synthetic Turf: Friend or Foe?

Synthetic Turf, Playground
My name is Corrie Lindsay. I am a Licensed Landscape Architect and Bay-Friendly Qualified Designer, with professional certifications in irrigation design as well as stormwater pollution prevention. I’ve been designing with Bay-Friendly principles before I knew of the Coalition, because I believe it enables the true beauty of the Bay Area to shine. I do what is right for our environment and I try to share my stewardship with others. But when it gets to the topic of synthetic turf I find it difficult to know which stance to take, particularly considering the recent drought.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Case for Using Water in a time of Drought- Carefully!

Lately in observing my garden, and talking with friends and clients, I’ve noticed how gardens everywhere are showing early signs of summer water stress. This year, normal spring growth was early and brief. Now, even established plants are wilting on hot days. Welcome to our third dry year in a row!

There’s good news from the drought- the folks I talk to are more open than ever to water-wise gardening, and giving more thought and attention to how they use water in our naturally dry state. Many are searching for innovative ways to conserve, like greywater and rain catchment systems.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Bay-Friendly Plants in Local Nurseries

We are lucky to have an abundance of gorgeous plants available to us in the Bay Area. In fact, there’s so much to choose from it can be difficult to figure out just what to purchase.

Fret no more. Choosing plants for your Bay-Friendly garden just got a whole lot easier! We are pleased to announce the launch of a regional Bay-Friendly Labeling Program in partnership with local nurseries. Several locally-owned nurseries in Alameda County partnered with StopWaste to highlight Bay-Friendly plants in their stores, and now we are expanding on that effort to make it easier for gardeners throughout the Bay Area to find plants well suited to our climate and growing conditions.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

One Less Lawn in Livermore

About a year ago Livermore gardener Scott Paap went to a Lose Your Lawn talk at Western Garden Nursery in Pleasanton. He wanted to change out his yard because of the drought and was done with mowing (he grew up in Wisconsin with 3 acres of lawn!). When he heard about the rebates offered by Zone 7Water Agency, it was a no brainer. He applied for a rebate, sought out a Bay-FriendlyQualified Landscape Professional, and found Alison Fleck, owner of Simply Perfect Gardens. Alison provided Scott with a design concept and plant list; she helps co-facilitate Lose Your Lawn talks and was ready to help.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sunset Talks: The Future of Water

A few weeks back we were invited to participate in a forum about the future of water, hosted by Sunset magazine at their headquarters in Menlo Park. Stuart Rickard, Interim Executive Director, and Maureen Decombe, Bay-Friendly Training Consultant, joined Sunset editors and a group of other opinion makers, municipal water agencies, educators, environmental leaders, farmers, and landscape experts to discuss the "deepening drought crisis facing our region and state—from the current impact of the drought and planning for the future to household water conservation."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Efficient Watering Without Drip Irrigation

We recently asked our pool of Bay-Friendly Qualified Professionals to share some of their strategies for dealing with the drought. Ellyn Shea responded with some insightful information on irrigation choices. 

Water: all plants need it and we need to conserve it. Drip irrigation is designed to water plants efficiently, but it’s not always the answer. Some locations aren’t feasible to run irrigation to; others contain plants with varying water needs planted too closely together. Hand-watering is time-consuming and wasteful. Are there any efficient alternatives to drip? Here, we look at two methods.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Water Conservation Showcase Session: The Role of Compost in Creating Climate-Adaptive Soils

Bay-Friendly board member Aaron Majors will be participating in a panel  at next week’s Water Conservation Showcase in San Francisco to discuss the important role of compost.Here's a preview of the session. 

What is a “climate adaptive” soil? Climate adaptive soils resist drought, consume little energy, have little need for fertilizer and pesticides, and act as carbon sinks. Creating these high-performing soils is possible through the addition of organic matter, which increases water retention and infiltration, improves soil structure, and builds a robust soil ecology. The application of compost is the first step.