Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

Native land: Campaign offers free seeds to smart California gardeners

This is a majestic view of Montana de Oro State Park near Morro Bay, Califr., with California Poppies lining the Bluff Trail.
This is a majestic view of Montana de Oro State Park near Morro Bay, Califr., with California Poppies lining the Bluff Trail. docentjoyce via flickr

The new “Go Native” campaign launched by Apply Responsibility is encouraging California gardeners to be vigilant in the responsible use of pesticides and water conservation, especially as we face soaring summer temperatures and potential water shortages. To that end, an online water conservation questionnaire will reward high scorers with seed packets for plants native to California, including poppies and tidy tips.

“Most California homeowners use the majority of their water caring for their gardens, plants and lawns,” said Fred Pearson, chairman of the Urban Pyrethroid Stewardship Group, the pesticide industry alliance behind Apply Responsibility. “With the snowpack only about 40 percent of normal this year, we felt it was a perfect time to broaden our water message this year to include conservation.”

Beyond more basic water conservation tips like checking that sprinklers are positioned efficiently, the campaign also promotes a layer of mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation and choosing a water irrigation system.

Smart pesticide practices include no stockpiling and never disposing of them down toilets, sinks or sewer drains.

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