530-458-3190 margoc@frontiernet.net

Seminar Descriptions

  • Landscape Maintenance Best Management Practices (90 minutes)
  • Low Water Use or Drought Tolerant Landscape Plants. Are They the Same? (60 minutes)
  • Landscaping for Native Bees: Plants, Maintenance & Design (90 minutes)
  • Welcoming Wildlife into Our Gardens  (60 minutes)
  • The New World of Outdoor Lighting—The end of incandescent lights and the new world of LED’s (90 minutes)

Course Descriptions

Landscape Maintenance Best Management Practices

Loren McIrvin, President, Allied Landscape
8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
CEUS: QWEL, Irrigation Association, WCISA, NALP, CANGC, APLD



  1. Definition of Best Management Practices
  2. Why Landscape Maintenance should be called Landscape Management
  3. Basic Principles of Natural Systems
  4. Water Shed Approach

Take Steps to reduce maintenance requirements

  1. Maintenance needs go down while management needs increase
  2. Ex. shearing plants vs. planting for mature size
  3. Soil food web management

Less green waste generation

  1. Right plant for right place
  2. Climate appropriate
  3. Avoid invasive plants
  4. Grasscycling
  5. On site composting if available
  6. Use Arbor Mulch

Mulch exposed soil surfaces

  1. MWELO requirement – 3” deep layer
  2. Leave some bare areas for ground nesting pollinators
  3. In wildfire prone areas use gravel mulch near building foundations
  4. “Fresh” arbor mulch or compost based mulches may be better than shredded or chip type mulches

Water Use Efficiency

  1. Low volume vs. overhead
  2. MWELO Appendix D – check list
  3. Weather Based Irrigation Controllers
  4. Water Budgeting
  5. Right amount of water at the right time and at the right interval
  6. Cycle and soak to allow for infiltration
  7. Cannot Manage What is Not Measured
  8. Implement hydrozoning       

Properly Manage Herbicide and Pesticide Use

  1. Integrated Pest Management
  2. Pest/Disease triangle
  3. Observation of landscapes
  4. Symptom vs. sign – (symptoms are visible changes) (signs visible direct evidence)
  5. Licensing and Training

Properly Manage Fertilizer and Soils

  1. Soil, plant and water relationship
  2. Soil Testing and recommendations
  3. Soil Food Web
  4. Measure Areas, calibrate spreaders
  5. Organic fertilizers vs. synthetic blends

Appropriate Horticulture

  1. Education vs. Training
  2. Junior College Classes
  3. Seminars and presentations
  4. Plant ID Essential
  5. Pruning techniques and approaches
  6. Dividends Get Paid Down the Road – Invest Now!
Landscaping for Native Bees: Plants, Maintenance & Design

Dr. Christine Casey, Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, UCD
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

CEUS: QWEL Irrigation Association, WCISA, NALP, CANGC, APLD

Built landscapes can serve as vital bee habitat. This workshop will provide the information needed by landscape managers and designers to utilize their landscapes’ full potential as pollinator gardens. The presentation will include results from current UC Davis research.

In this workshop, participants will 1) learn to identify common native bees seen in gardens; 2) understand key garden elements and design features needed for successful bee gardens; 3) understand how bees use plants and what plants are appropriate for bee gardens; 4) learn about garden maintenance practices that are compatible with bees; and 5) learn about resources for continued learning about native bees in gardens.


The New World of Outdoor Lighting--The end of incandescent lights and the new world of LED’s

Tom Bressan, The Urban Farmer Store                                            
 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.


The advances in LED lighting options have given us solutions to our lighting needs. We will survey the various types of LED fixtures, their uses & how they can create the effects we are looking to achieve. LEDs have made lighting easier to install. Their lower power demand can save us thousands of dollars over their lives in electrical usage & maintenance costs. The overview will include new controls, best installation practices, and how site demonstrations add to the making of more satisfying projects.


Low Water Use or Drought Tolerant Landscape Plants. Are They the Same?

Dr. Loren Oki, UCD
9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

CEUS: QWEL Irrigation Association, WCISA, NALP, CANGC, ALPD

The terms “low water use” and “drought tolerant” are often used to describe plants and their irrigation needs in urban landscapes, but these terms are not synonymous.  I will explain how they are different and some plant characteristics that may tell us how plants use water.  We will also briefly discuss the landscape water conservation regulations we have in California and the field trials we use to assess landscape plant water use.  The information developed from these trials inform plant professionals of how the tested plants perform when exposed to deficit irrigation and comply with the landscape regulations.


Welcoming Wildlife into Our Gardens

Richard Hayden, Garden Director, Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden
12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

CEUS: QWEL, Irrigation Association, WCISA, NALP, CANGC, ALPD

The march of progress has put great pressure on our wild areas and the animals that call them home. Honey bees are under attack from Colony Collapse Disorder, Monarch butterfly populations have declined by as much as 90% nationwide and our children suffer nature deprivation. Landscape professionals to the rescue! Studies have shown that by planting our homes and businesses following a few simple principles, wildlife can find food, water and a place to raise their young in urban and suburban settings, creating an essential bridge between wild places. And the gardens we create become living laboratories to enrich the lives of all who encounter them.