Green Gardeners Cooperative

Under the nurturing of Commissioner Paula Daniels of the LA Department of Public Works, IDEPSCA has developed a Green Gardeners Cooperative. After almost 8 months of meetings, trainings and developing a curriculum, today 23 day laborers became the first group to earn certification in Green Gardeners skills and methods. CONTACT: RAUL ANORVE (213) 252-2952. EMAIL: to utilize their services. This is a great opportunity if you are interested in removing turf and converting to drought resistant landscaping!

In order to practice their skills and develop our Green Gardeners Cooperative, they offer the following:

1. A team of two “Maestros” and 4 apprentices Green Gardeners will assess your garden. This consists in testing the soil with a moisture probe, evaluate irrigation scheduling for plant type, soil type, terrain slope, and hydrozone, analyzing the water pressure, and your existing irrigation system.
2. In this process we will seek your garden needs and how you can save water while still developing and maintaining a drought tolerant beautiful garden.
3. After this assessment, the team will write down specific tasks on a Service Agreement contract and present it to you so both, you and us, will have the same expectations. If there are any materials needed, the homeowner will purchase them, and we will do the labor.
4. Based on this Agreement, we will write down an estimated cost, and we will then ask you for a minimum of 25% donation of the total cost due at the end of the job.

Here are some ideas you should think about as you look at your existing garden and how you may want to change it and manage it:
Water Monitoring & Irrigation:
Reprogram my automatic irrigation controller every two weeks or monthly based on actual or historical evapo-transpiration data. Check soil with moisture probe and evaluate irrigation scheduling for plant type, soil type, terrain slope, and hydrozone (ongoing).
Evaluate and adjust my irrigation hardware monthly, including delivery pressure, sprinkler heads, emitters, etc.
Monitor for runoff at completion of full irrigation cycles.
Retrofit my irrigation system for maximum efficiency. Inform me of any new rebate opportunities.
Soil Management and Fertility:
Use compost in my landscape whenever possible.
Cover bare soil with mulch to prevent weeds and conserve soil moisture.
Utilize mulch materials on site first, e.g. leaves and trimmings.
Use mulch materials produced from local sources.
Use slow-release organic fertilizer on my landscape if needed (studies show that significant amounts of quick release fertilizers are lost in air or water runoff).
Apply any soil amendment or fertilizer based on the most recent soil sample results
Cut grass with a mulching mower.
Plug (aerate) any grass areas (turf) on my property frequently as suited to conditions.
Follow plugging with a top-dressing of sand/compost mix.
Plant Selection:
Review new plants according to needs including space required for mature plant size, light, soil, water,
fertilizer and pruning.
Choose drought resistant plants with modest water requirements to conserve water.
Place plants in my landscape requiring little or no pruning to maximize natural shape and colors and reduce green waste, labor and pollution.
Pest Management:
Use pest control methods other than chemicals in my landscape such as Integrated Pest Management.
Establish/maintain pollen and nectar sources in my landscape to attract beneficial insects (helping insects that prey on garden pest insects).
When needed, only use pesticides rated least harmful to human health, the environment, and water quality.
Notify me prior to application of any pesticide to obtain my prior consent.
Restore plants that have been boxed or topped to natural pruning where possible.
Prune based on personal safety, property safety and plant health considerations.
Reuse trimmings for mulch material as appropriate.
Compost all materials on-site that are neither mulched nor disposed of in yard waste.
Establish a compost bin on site for other trimmings.
Air Quality:
If possible, use only manual labor on my landscape to limit noise and air pollution.
Use electric equipment on my landscape first. Only use gas -powered equipment when necessary.
Ensure gas-powered motorized equipment complies with US E.P.A. PH1 and 2000 California
Sustainable Design:
Choose local, sustainably produced materials, and lower risk products. e.g. ultra-low VOC paints, salvaged lumber, or post-consumer recycled content or materials for any landscaping modifications.
Educate me about the potential for reusing and recycling resources in landscape construction projects.