Landscaping in the Central Valley is unique. The climate is “Mediterranean,” meaning that there are conditions here which are similar to the countries adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea. These conditions are dry, hot summers and cold, damp winters. Parts of Australia and South Africa also have “Mediterranean” climates. Because we have little rainfall, most gardens are irrigated.
The soil is rich in minerals, originating in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Hundreds of crops and ornamental plants thrive here, nearly all requiring irrigation.
Good soil preparation and an efficient irrigation system are crucial steps for a successful landscape in this area. Many parts of the Valley have “hard pan” which is an impermeable layer of soil that essentially acts like cement: water and roots cannot pass through it. Roots may rot since the water is held in the soil above the pan layer. To correct this problem, drilling and/or blasting are often necessary. In some cases, building up the soil by adding top soil and a retaining wall of some kind (complete with drainage holes) is the best solution.
Other areas of the Valley have sandy soil which drains very quickly, leaching out nutrients, and drying in a short time. Sandy soil often benefits from added organic matter which holds the nutrients, making them available for plant growth. Clay and loam are also found in the Valley, benefiting from specific cultural practices. Matching up the soil type for your area with the most appropriate plant material for that soil will improve your chances of success.
An irrigation controller capable of multiple settings can simplify these diverse situations.
CENTRAL VALLEY FRIENDLY LANDSCAPE AWARDS
This program recognizes Central Valley gardeners who follow water-wise gardening practices. In 2011, the inaugural year of the program, several individuals adhered to the seven landscape principles and nine required practices required of a Central Valley Friendly landscape and were awarded with a CVFLA.
Visit the website to learn how to modify your habits and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable home, environment, and community. http://ucanr.org/sites/cvlandscape/
Call 621-5480 to request a brochure, or click on the link below.
Central Valley Friendly Landscaping brochure
WATER-WISE GARDENING IN THE FRESNO REGION
This website, offering water-saving ideas and suggesting plants that grow well in the San Joaquin Valley, can be a valuable resource. Beautiful Central Valley yards and gardens are highlighted along with the plant selection information and water needs.
WATER-WISE PLANT EVENT
In May, local gardeners are encouraged to donate water-wise plants, cuttings, bulbs, and seeds for an annual give-and-take plant event. No plants of your own to donate? No problem! Attend anyway and pick up a few plants for your garden and some knowledge from some of the water-wise plant experts on hand.
Water-wise Plant Event Photos:
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013