The greenest gardens are grown without excessive use of pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.
Practice the 4 S’s
- Select the least toxic option for getting rid of pests and pumping up the quality of your soil. All natural compost does wonders.
- Strategically apply chemical products to your lawn or garden only when rain is not expected.
- Spot-apply pesticides or chemicals only to the area that needs treatment.
- Safely dispose of unwanted products at a Riverside County household hazardous waste collection center.
Natural Pest Control
When controlling bugs, there are many effective options you can try before reaching for pesticides and insecticides.
- Physical: Try handpicking, barriers, traps or caulking holes to prevent infestations.
- Biological: Rely on beneficial bugs like lady beetles and praying mantis to control harmful pests.
- Chemical: Investigate the source of the pest problem and opt for the least toxic solution first.
One man’s garbage is another man’s garden. Organic food scraps and yard waste are a boon to plants and the planet.
- Add leaves, grass clippings and other yard waste to the compost bin instead of tossing them away.
- Leave grass clippings on your lawn. They work as a natural fertilizer.
- Learn how to start a nutrient-rich compost pile form the Riverside County Backyard Composting Program.
Be Water Wise
California is in a drought, which means we all need to be wise with water use. Outdoor landscaping accounts for up to 40% of a home’s water use.
- Irrigation timers: New sprinkler technology includes timers that read real-time conditions and deliver just enough water to keep your plants healthy.
- Drip irrigation: Using drip irrigation, soaker hoses or micro-spray systems for flowerbeds and vegetation can help reduce your water bill and prevent runoff.
- Sunrise/sunset watering: Water your lawn early in the morning or in the late afternoon when evaporation from the sun is low and the water has time to soak into the soil.
- Watch for rain: When rain is forecast, turn off automatic sprinkler systems or install a rain sensor, which will switch them off for you when the drops fall.
- Reuse and recycle: Capture water from the shower and sink and use it to water plants in the house and out in the garden.
- Go native: Choose Southern California native plants for your garden. These low-maintenance, drought-tolerant varietals are also naturally bug resistant.
- Learn more: Be Water Wise is a treasure trove of resources on water-friendly gardening. They also offer classes.