Container gardens

Gardening tools

Soil compaction

Propagation through cuttings

Community tree plantings

Magnolia grandiflora

Horticultural tips

Transplanting tips

Aftercare tips

Mulch and restoration factsheet

Root inspection

Shoot and crown inspection

Sequoiadendron giganteum

Pacific madrone

The myth of soil amendments

Compost tea


Master Gardener Magazine


Sustainable Horticulture

We live in an increasingly urbanized world, where open or green space is becoming less common and more highly valued. Landscapes provide an extension of the livable environment where people interact with their world and each other. Unfortunately, many landscapes are neither well managed nor sustainable, with poor plant choices, site conditions, and little or no maintenance. A variety of problems make such places unhealthy or unsafe for plants, humans, and animals. For instance, invasive species are often planted in landscapes, where they outcompete more beneficial species, reducing diversity and providing less food and habitat for other organisms. In urban areas, heavy traffic, combined with a sea of concrete, leads to soil compaction, creating an environment where existing plants cannot obtain sufficient oxygen or water to survive and seedlings cannot germinate. Fertilizers and pesticides are often applied in excessive quantities, which can lead to such environmental disasters as eutrophication of water bodies, destruction of salmon habitat, and poisoning of a variety of organisms. Unsustainable landscapes may also require more frequent weeding, watering, pruning, and other high-maintenance activities to keep them functional.

Through this page, we hope to help visitors to recognize and apply sustainable management practices as preferable alternatives to current practices. Sustainable or ecologically friendly landscapes, whether in public greenspaces or privately owned, consume less water, have reduced needs for fertilizer and pesticides, and avoid the use of non-native, invasive species.

We hope you find this page useful and informative. If you have any questions, please contact us.


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