- Author: Cris L. Johnson
The event was sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Flower and Nursery Growers Association and included a barbeque lunch as part of the registration fees.
The workshop was designed to assist greenhouse and nursery growers evaluate their water quality management practices (BMPs) and implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program. Information was provided to assist growers in conducting a self-audit of current water quality management practices, developing a farm water quality plan and implementing an IPM program to reduce impacts on water quality.
UC and ANR manuals and resources were used to supplement the presentations. Continuous education credits were also requested for participants.
- Author: Cris L. Johnson
The meeting focused on updating growers and interested members of the public on subjects relevant to producing strawberries in Ventura County and other areas. The agenda included topics on:
- Strawberry cultivar performance and research updates
- Management of Macrophomina and Fusarium and treatments
- Irrigation practices for strawberries in Oxnard and Watsonville
- Water quality monitoring results for strawberry production fields in Ventura County
- Fertility research updates
- Management of mites, thrips, corn earworm and spotted wing Drosophila
- California Strawberry Commission update on research and regulatory issues pertaining to strawberry production
The production meeting included lunch and attendees could receive continous education credits from the Department of Pesticide Regulation.
For a list of this and other strawberry meeting presentations online, please click here.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
UC ANR’s Spanish News Service website brings Agriculture and Natural Resource information to California residents who are fluent, and more comfortable learning, in Spanish. This is a vital service for all Californians as many of the issues and challenges we face together can only be solved by all of us working together.
This highly organized, visually appealing, and easy to navigate site provides a great deal of information on many important topics. The information can be accessed by audio, video, articles, and blogs.
- Invasive species
- Water quality
- Nutrition and fitness
- Child development
- Preventing obesity and overweight
- Reducing the risk of diabetes
- Natural resources
- Recovering from a natural disaster
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
- Preventing and recovering from wildfires
- Money management
- And much more
A similar site is available in English.
- Author: Jim Downer
California is a highly urbanized state with an expanding population. Planned landscapes and gardens are essential for Californians to maintain health promoting environments via urban landscapes. California’s urban landscapes are complex plant systems that provide essential functional, environmental, recreational, and psychological benefits for urban residents.
In 1995 landscapes covered 1.369 million acres in California, which is the most recent reliable data published. This planted area has undoubtedly grown with population increases since that time. In addition to creating beauty and health benefits, the ornamental plant and tree industry creates and supports many jobs and economic activity within the state.
The landscape industry is estimated to have a statewide economic activity well over $5 billion annually, with approximately 60% centered in Southern California. When indirect effects of tourism are included, the economic impact and importance of landscape horticulture nearly doubles. Examples of related employment numbers and their approximate memberships are: licensed landscape contractors (2,500), landscape architects (2,000), sod growers (4), arborists and city street tree managers (800+), urban water agencies (100+), along with urban forestry agencies and groups, irrigation managers and engineers, and municipal parks, planning and public works departments.
Landscapes are populated by two major categories of plants: turfgrasses, and woody ornamentals such as trees, shrubs and vines.
Turfgrass is the largest irrigated crop in the U.S. with an estimated land cover of 40.5 million acres or nearly 2% of the total area of the continental U.S.. The turfgrass industry in California is arguably the largest in the world with the economic impact from golf alone estimated to be more than $15 billion annually.
Turfgrass plays an important role in the landscape and in the lives of Californians. It is aesthetically pleasing and provides a safer, cushioned surface for sports and recreational activities. Turfgrass reduces surface temperature by transpirational cooling. It also lessens glare, noise, soil erosion, and dust thereby reducing air pollution and allergens. Turfgrass provides habitat for wildlife and reduces wildfire hazard. It has been demonstrated to be an effective bio-filter for applied pesticides and nutrients, and for pharmaceuticals and other xenobiotics (substances not normally found) in reclaimed water for irrigation.
Turfgrass also helps to remove carbon from the environment. Long-term soil testing data from Colorado golf courses were used to estimate soil C sequestration. Turf on the average golf course in their study sequestered as much as 450 kg (1000 pounds) C per acre per year, which is 1.5 to 3 times greater than soils under agricultural production.
Trees are perhaps the most emblematic and valuable individuals in landscapes. In part these valuable landscape elements provide shade, which in turn provides energy savings in shaded buildings. Trees absorb and store carbon and thus play a role in moderating global climate change. Trees also mitigate landscape noise, and provide an aesthetic environment where people live.
Unfortunately, the average life span of trees in urban landscapes is only about seven years. Though some studies have called for the survival statistics to be revised upward to 19-28 years, many urban trees still fail to establish or mature to serve their potential landscape functions. Research on sustaining trees in urban environments is more critical than ever as we rely on them for energy savings, carbon sequestration and the other benefits they add to urban landscapes. It is imperative that we find ways to extend the lifespan of these critical landscape elements in urban settings.
Jim Downer is a UCCE Farm Advisor in Ventura County. His specialties include pathology of landscape ornamental, Phytophtohora Root Rot, Mulches, Potting soils, Palm horticulture, and Arboriculture. Additional information about his research can be found here.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) works extensively with the nation’s farmers and ranchers to protect soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources while meeting production goals.
Working with agricultural producers allows NRCS to promote conservation practices approximately 1.4 billion acres of the privately held land in the United States. About 92 million acres of land in our country is tended by home gardeners. In an effort to promote conservation on these lands, NRCS has partnered with other organizations to produce, Backyard Conservation: Bringing Conservation From the Countryside to Your Backyard.
This full-color and informative online resource highlights 10 conservation activities that can be used in your backyard, shared spaces, and public places too.
- Trees add beauty and so much more.
- Trees, shrubs, and other plants can provide homes and food for wildlife.
- A backyard pond will likely become the focal point for all your backyard conservation.
- Wetlands filter excess nutrients, chemicals, and sediment and provide habitat for a host of interesting creatures.
- Composting turns household wastes into valuable fertilizer.
- Mulching cools, protects, and enriches the soil.
- Apply only those nutrients the plants can use. (See our previous post on soil test kits to help you get accurate test results.)
- Terracing makes flower and vegetable gardening possible on steep slopes.
- Drip irrigation and other water conservation practices can save water and money.
- Early detection and treatment of pests means a healthier growing environment.