Gardening and Pollinators
Using Sheep Wool in the Garden for Pest Mitigation, Weed Control and Reduced Water Evaporation
We found that using sheared Babydoll wool in our garden was good for some pest mitigation and weed control, but was best for water storage and reduced evaporation.
Pollinator Program Information
Promoting Pollinator Health in San Diego County
We are passionate about promoting pollinator health on our property and beyond. We are working with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, as well as several other non profits that promote pollinator conservation:
How can you promote pollinator health on your property and support increased production of your harvest?
Ensure you and your neighbors are not using pesticides, even organic, nor treated seed on their property, and minimize the risk to them reaching your property through wind drift. Although pesticides seem like an easy fix for pests, it can hurt the pollinator health in your area. On our property, we use chickens to mitigate pests, and have eliminated the risk for predator (hawk, coyote, area dogs) death of our chickens free ranging by utilizing our Livestock Guardian Dogs.
Start preparing an area of your property, up to a year in advance, for planting of pollinator plants. We laid down cardboard and covered in mulch nearly 1 year prior to planting on our nearly 2900 sq ft pollinator area. You may not need to do this if your weed burden is minimal to nonexistent. The priority is to make sure that native grasses and weeds don't choke out the pollinator plants. You'll need to maintain this in the future by pulling weeds in this area. Do you need a lot of mulch? Reach out to your local Arborists, explain you'd like mulch ideally without Palm trees and without diseased trees. They may drop off full truckloads off for a discount or free. You can also request wood chips from ChipDrop. We haven't had luck in our area with ChipDrop, but do live a bit out of the way for convenience.
Discover your region plants and preferred plants that you want in your area. The idea is to pick 3-4 plants that are active during the different blooming cycles of the year, so that there is always something available for pollinators. In the San Diego inland region, you can see my picked list of plants in the black box on the left. These were picked for lower risk to humans and livestock, variance in blooming period, and native or well adapted to our climate. Check out the California Native Plant Society.
Ensure you have a drip line for irrigation for watering plants, to minimize water waste, and focus the irrigation on the plants you want to grow vs. the weed environment. The plants that are native to Southern California have the added benefit of being more drought tolerant. You may find that you have to water less once the plants are established.
Southern California Water Wise Rebates
If you are interested in collecting rainwater, saving water, and implementing water-wise drought tolerant landscaping protocols, here is a good place to start:
San Diego Nifty-Fifty list of water wise plants
Free landscaping classes
Current SoCal WaterSmart rebates information is available here. Check for available rebates on cisterns and rain barrels for rain collection, as well as Turf Replacement rebates, to replace your lawn with water wise landscaping.
Here is information taken directly off the rebate program website: