OFG meets the 4th Tuesday of every month.

All of our blog posts are now done through our Surfrider chapter website at
http://sandiego.surfrider.org/programs/ocean-friendly-gardens You can also visit our Facebook page at 'Ocean Friendly Gardens - San Diego'

Thursday, February 25, 2010

O.C. Couple Faces Fines for New Garden

This is an example of what we hope to prevent with education through the Ocean Friendly Gardens program. Check out the attached newsclip to see video of the garden, the plants in front will eventually fill to completely screen the bark areas.
The property owners could resolve their issue by planting more drought tolerant plants to come up to the city's 40% coverage requirement but the issue at hand is addressing the strict restrictions and regulations set by local governments and HOA's regarding what is or is not acceptable in front yard landscapes.
While a bark yard with annual wildflowers is not necessarily the ideal replacement for a front yard lawn it does save water, allows for permeability, and does not require any fertilizers or other chemicals.

Jail for an eco-friendly frontyard? Couple in Orange defend themselves for ripping out their lawn

February 25, 2010 12:28 pm
If you missed the KTLA link from The Times' home page, here's the story: While some cities in Southern California are calling for mandatory water conservation, officials in Orange are taking a family to court because their drought-tolerant lawn alternative is not up to code.In what sounds eerily similar to the “yard cop” stories Steve Lopez has reported in the past, Quan and Angelina Han have been going back and forth with the city for more than a year about their lack of lawn. Prompted by one neighbor’s anonymous complaint, the Hans were cited for not having 40% of their yard landscaped, per city law. The couple were contacted after they tore out their lawn and left the yard bare. They have since planted drought-tolerant landscaping, including some lavender, rosemary and native wildflower seeds, which they say are germinating under wood chips. You can see the current landscape on KTLA video here: http://www.ktla.com/videobeta/?watchId=21ff7dd4-0e1b-4de6-91df-6eb2169b9d41
The Hans have been summoned to court on Tuesday. The maximum penalty: six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.-- Lisa Boone
Photo illustration: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rainwater Harvesting - Surfrider San Diego's February Chapter Meeting

In case you missed the last chapter meeting, we have posted the video online;


Brook Sarson is owner and founder of H2OME, San Diego's first rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling installation business. Offering consultations on water reuse and storage opportunities, H2OME provides a complete solution from consultation to installation, including passive and active rainwater harvesting and greywater use in conjunction with appropriate plantings and landscaping. Brook's vision for H2OME is to educate people about real yet simple solutions for San Diego's water shortage. Brook graduated with a B.S. in in Electrical Engineering and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. She has studied Permaculture in Arizona and completed a farming internship at City College Urban Farm. Brook has been an instructor with Victory Gardens San Diego, is a member of San Diego Roots - Sustainable Food Project, Food Not Lawns and The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association. She currently holds workshops, classes and Open Houses to educate people about water harvesting.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

and it really got me fired up again about HOAs and how they are the #1 culprit behind wasteful water practices, contributing to invasive plant expansion, and usage of highly toxic pesticides. I have been roadblocked several times by my HOA for building a Ocean Friendly Garden in front of my unit. They still turn on the sprinklers after i turn them off, continue to use a highly toxic pestiside as weed killer (even days prior to a major rain event) and have even told me to remove my garden because it looks "wild, dead and unkept" -  the proper term is dormant. There are so many HOAs throughout san diego and along the coast that are preventing people from following OFG practices. Its sickening!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Ocean Friendly Garden Design

Isn't it amazing to think that by simply changing the design of your garden you can stop thousands of gallons of runoff pollution from reaching our oceans!?
If you're thinking of putting in a new Ocean Friendly Garden now is the perfect time to plan out your new garden so that you can get things in the ground before the hot summer sun arrives!

One of the most important and overlooked steps in the planning of an OFG is, well....planning! Once the lawn is ripped out what then? For many people the next step is a trip to the nursery and a carload of plants that look pretty in the pots but aren't necessarily compatible in the landscape or good for year-round interest in the landscape....and what about mulching, irrigation, and grading? The results of these crash-landscapes can often result in years of damage control.

So how do you plan out your new landscape anyway? There are literally thousands of plants to choose from, countless garden styles, and a plethora of stone, pottery, mulches and other materials....where to start!?

Luckily the new upcoming series of OFG Workshops will cover not only how to design your new garden but will also include subjects such as lawn removal, irrigation recommendations, intallation, and care and maintenance of your new garden. The seasonal series will offer not only informational classes but will also feature on-site assessment and installation workshops!
Stay tuned for dates and more information and in the meantime check out the new Ocean Friendly Gardens Book for lots of great information on creating OFGs and how they work to reduce runoff pollution and save resources!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

More Native Gardening Workshops!

Tree of Life Nursery in San Juan Capistrano is holding series of free workshops showing how to convert your garden from lawn into a beautiful and successful native garden!

Workshops will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturdays during the month of February (this month!) and include how to remove your lawn, creating and caring for your native garden, design elements, and plant selection.

No reservations are necessary and you can attend any or all of the workshops as you wish!

Visit http://www.californianativeplants.com/ for directions and more information.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lawns aren't environmentally friendly?! Who knew?

According to UC Irvine researcher Amy Townsend-Small, just because grass is green doesn't mean it's 'green'. New research has shown that the fertilizers and other carbon emissions produced in the maintenance of turfgrass actually emit more greenhouse gasses than are processed through the grass by photosynthesis.

"Turfgrass lawns help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store it as organic carbon in soil, making them important “carbon sinks.” However, greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer production, mowing, leaf blowing and other lawn management practices are four times greater than the amount of carbon stored by ornamental grass in parks, a UC Irvine study shows. These emissions include nitrous oxide released from soil after fertilization. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that’s 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, the Earth’s most problematic climate warmer."

As if we needed another reason...

Check out the full article here: http://uci.edu/features/2010/01/feature_turfgrass_100119.php