Gardening is not always green, as in environmentally friendly. Home gardeners tend to over-water, and pesticides and fertilizers are often over-applied, with the excess going into waterways, according to the UC Davis Arboretum.
To help gardeners clean up their act, so to speak, the arboretum has secured a $141,139 grant from the federal government's Institute of Museum and Library Services, to pay for new education programs.
An arboretum news release states that the new programs will draw on the expertise of faculty and research staff at UC Davis, which has one of the strongest plant science departments in the world, to bring the latest scientific information on sustainable gardening to valley gardeners.
Arboretum officials said the grant project will feature the Arboretum All-Stars, described as tough, reliable, low water-use plants that have been tested in the arboretum. The all-stars will be displayed in new plantings, highlighted on interpretive signs in the gardens, featured on the arboretum Web site and in podcasts and publications, and available at arboretum plant sales.
In addition, the arboretum will teach about key gardening practices that reduce water and energy consumption, preserve biodiversity, support native plants and wildlife, and reduce air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Gardeners will learn about improving soils with organic amendments, choosing the right plants for the right conditions, mulching, hydrozoning, minimizing lawn area and impervious surfaces, installing efficient irrigation systems, and monitoring and adjusting irrigation timing.
For more information about the arboretum's gardens, collections and education programs: (530) 752-4880 or http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.