April 2018 – Flows to Bay (2023)

We have arrived at the final quarter for the FlowstoBay Challenge! In our last quarter, we are challenging you to take action in your garden and your community. Interested? Read on for great eco-friendly gardening tips and opportunities to get involved in exciting community events.

In the Garden

April showers bring May flowers, and the opportunity to revamp your garden with green products and gardening methods! Gardening is a great way to release stress, beautify your home, and to grow your own produce. Here are some tips to keep your garden eco-friendly and safe for your family and friends!

Eco-Friendly Pesticides:

Pests in the garden are a pain to deal with, so many people resort to harsh pesticides to ward off pests. While sometimes effective at handling pests, pesticides are a threat to your family’s safety and the environment. Commonly known pesticides, like Glyphosate (commonly found in Roundup), Atrazine, and Chlorpyrifos, are heavily used throughout large-scale agriculture and evenin households. However, the harsh chemicals in these products can cause birth defects, neurological damage, and other milder symptoms like headaches and nausea. These chemicals can also contaminate water sources that eventually flow to the bay, endangering marine wildlife and the safety of our oceans.

Fortunately, eco-friendly alternatives exist and are a great way to use natural solutions to keep your garden pesticide-free. You can even make some of these natural pesticides, like vinegar spray, at home and save yourself a trip to the local gardening store! Next time you’re shopping for pesticides, ask for the natural pest control alternatives and save your family and the environment from exposure to toxic chemicals. There are also great options for managing pests without spraying your plants, like watering and composting properly, planting native species that are pest tolerant, and more.

More Eco-Friendly Gardening Practices:

Aside from finding alternatives to chemical pest control, here are a few additional ways to “green up” your garden this spring.

  • Rain Barrels: Rain barrels capture water runoff from your roof and store it for later use on your gardens and lawns. Using rain barrels is a great way to help conserve water-use in your home and reduce overall water demand. These are also great for saving money on water bills and if you’re operating on a budget we even have a rain barrel rebate!
  • Rain Gardens: If you’re looking to transform a normal lawn into a beautiful garden, consider building a rain garden. Rain gardens are a depressed area in the landscape that can soak up water from your roof, driveway, or other areas around your home. They are great for reducing and filtering runoff from your property, preventing pollutants in runoff from reaching the bay!
  • Mulch: Using mulch or compost in your garden helps soil retain its moisture, fight weed growth, increase soil fertility, and keeps soil cooler, which can help your plants thrive. All you need to do is spread a thin layer of mulch over your soil and let the mulch work its magic!
  • Native Plants: When seeking new plants for your garden, native plants are the best way to go! Because these plants are already adapted to the local climate and soil conditions in our region, they require less water, fertilizer and pesticides to thrive in your garden. Not only are they less resource-intensive, but they’re also beautiful additions to your home that promote the existence of local flora like butterflies and other pollinators.

In the Community

Volunteering and giving back to the community can be fun for everyone, including the family, and really rewarding. Volunteer gardens, beach cleanups, habitat restoration, and advocacy movements are all great examples of community events you can get involved with. Fortunately, the springtime is filled with these events, where you can go outside, learn more about how to help our planet, and get your hands dirty for a good cause! Check out these local Earth Day events this month that you and your family can attend near you as part of the spring Flows to Bay Challenge:

  1. College of San Mateo Earth Day: 4/18/18 9:30am-1:30pm, College Center Plaza, San Mateo: This event is focused on helping expose students to sustainable and green jobs. The featured exhibitors and student clubs will be focused on biodiversity, water, waste, energy and social justice issues.
  2. Pacifica Beach Coalition Ecofest and Earth Day of Action: 4/21/18 9am-2:30pm, Pacifica: From 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM, there will be cleanups, gardening, and habitat restoration at locations around the city. From 11:00 AM to 2:30 AM, EcoFest will be held at Linda Mar State Beach to highlight and educate residents about our coastal environment.
  3. Earth Day at the Shoreway Environmental Center: 4/21/18 10am-1pm, San Carlos: This Earth Day event is fun, family oriented event that includes a petting zoo, free food, recycling site tours, free compost, face painting, and much more.
  4. Earth Day Clean-up at Coyote Point: 4/21/18 9:00am, Coyote Point Recreation Area, San Mateo: This event focuses on cleaning up San Mateo’s beaches and coastside parks. There will be volunteers out at 9 AM at the Beach Parking Area. Click here for more information!
  5. Belmont Earth Day Celebration: 4/21/18 9:00am-12:00pm, Twin Pines Park, Belmont: This event will have environmental booths, informational displays, live music, and fun activities for children. There will also be e-waste drop-off and compost giveaways.
  6. Tree Workshop & Giveaway: 4/21/18 9:00am-10:30am, Twin Pines Senior & Community Center, Belmont: Belmont’s contract city arborist and parks manager will lead this workshop. They will cover topics on how to select and properly care for trees, what a healthy tree should look like, and the Belmont Tree Ordinance.
  7. Earth Day Taste and Talk: 4/18/18 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM, San Mateo Library – Oak Room, San Mateo: This event provides opportunities to join the discussion on transportation priorities, programs, and solutions for other issues in the community. Sample food from San Mateo restaurants will be provided. Commute.Org will present on their 2018 Commuter Challenge. This event is a Spare the Air Active Trip Incentive event.
  8. Teen Program – Planting for Earth Day: 4/21/2018 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Downtown Library – Teen Center – 2nd Floor, Redwood City: At this event, participants will decorate a plant pot and use it to plant a flower in celebration of Earth Day. This event is for teens grades 6th through 12th. Click here for more information!
  9. Marine Science Institute’s Earth Day on The Bay: 4/14/2018 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Marine Science Institute, Redwood City: The Banana Slug String band will play from 11:30am – 1:30pm, boat rides will be available at 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm, there will be children activities, and an opportunity to touch live sharks! This event is free.
  10. FREE! “Do the Math” – Earth Day Movie Showing: 4/17/2018 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM, San Mateo Public Library, San Mateo: This event is open to the public. Light snacks and beverages will be provided. This documentary is about one of America’s leading environmentalists, Bill McKibben’s battle to fight the fossil fuel industry and change the terrifying math of the climate crisis.
  11. Spring Cleanup 2018: 4/21/2018 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Public Works Services, Redwood City: Free breakfast will be provided at 8:30am before your cleanup team sets out to one of Redwood City’s cleanup sites . A free barbeque lunch will be provided for all volunteers afterwards. There will be free composts for Redwood City community members.
  12. County of San Mateo Sustainability Film Series – “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”: 4/18/18 5:30pm, Century Theater Redwood City, Redwood City: This event is part of a month long initiative aimed at celebrating Earth Day through free Sustainability Film Series, showcasing inspirational award-winning films. Through these films, learn how issues in climate, energy and food have been solved locally and globally. There will be an opportunity to interact with San Mateo County organizations and ask about ways to take action and protect Earth’s resources. First 150 registrants receive popcorn and a beverage!
  13. County of San Mateo Sustainability Film Series – “Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution”: 4/26/18 5:30pm, Daly City Council Chamber, Daly City: This event is part of a month long initiative aimed at celebrating Earth Day through free Sustainability Film Series, showcasing inspirational award-winning films. Through these films, learn how issues in climate, energy and food have been solved locally and globally. There will be an opportunity to interact with San Mateo County organizations and ask about ways to take action and protect Earth’s resources. Light refreshments provided.
  14. County of San Mateo Sustainability Film Series – “Of the Sea”: 5/3/18 5:30pm, Ted Adcock Community Center, Half Moon Bay: This event is part of a month long initiative aimed at celebrating Earth Day through free Sustainability Film Series, showcasing inspirational award-winning films. Through these films, learn how issues in climate, energy and food have been solved locally and globally. There will be an opportunity to interact with San Mateo County organizations and ask about ways to take action and protect Earth’s resources. Light refreshments provided.
  15. Daly City’s Earth Day Recycling Event & Community Clean Up: 4/21/18 9:00am-12:00pm, City Hall Parking Lot, Daly City: There will be secure document shredding, e-waste drop-off, compost giveaways, used tire take backs, and environmental programs. These free services will be performed in a drive through format.
  16. Celebrate Earth Day: 4/21/18 8:00am-11:00am, San Bruno Park, Beckner Shelter Parking Area, San Bruno: There will be FREE compost giveaways available for all San Bruno residents to help enrich their gardens while learning about the benefits of composting. Residents must bring their own bucket.
  17. Atherton Earth Day Event: 4/21/18 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Menlo-Atherton High School Performing Arts Center, Atherton: There will be a film screening for the film “The New Fire.” This film is about how technological advances in nuclear energy can help combat climate change. Admission is free. A light lunch and beverages will be provided. After the film, there will be a panel discussion, desserts, Q & A, and a networking reception.
  18. East Palo Alto Earth Day: 4/14/18 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Bell Street Park, East Palo Alto: At this event, there will be bike repairs, safety lessons and learning to ride bike lessons, electronics recycling, tree planting, and a bike raffle!

Additionally, the Flows To Bay team will be co-hosting a joint programs on May 19th. We invite you to join us for one of three fantastic opportunities to get outside and enjoy our local environment while getting to know our local community partners who are holding hands-on environmental activities for San Mateo County residents. These activities and partners include:

  • Pacifica Beach Coalition: This event will be a beach cleanup at Linda Mar State Beach.
  • San Mateo Arboretum: During this activity, our partner will be holding a native plant talk and planting class at the Greenhouse and Nursery in San Mateo.
  • Friends of Edgewood: Residents will be able to explore the park through a nature walk at the Edgewood Park and Nature Reserve.

*Further details such as event times will be released shortly.

UC Master Gardeners are volunteers trained and certified by the University of California to provide community service and educational outreach that helps home gardeners and community organizations garden sustainably and create a healthy environment. Flows To Bay has partnered with the UC Master Gardeners for our current Flows To Bay Challenge to bring you eco-friendly gardening classes with their extensive horticulture expertise. Check out some of their amazing workshops to help you kick off your eco-friendly gardening efforts.

When and WhereEvent TypeWhy You Should AttendDetails

San Mateo Co. Event Center – Sequoia Hall (FREE PARKING), 2495 So. Delaware Street, San Mateo 94403

Spring Garden Market The annual Spring Garden Market is a plant sale and educational fair brought to you by the UCCE Master Gardeners of San Mateo and San Francisco Counties.The Spring Garden Market will offer more than 5,000 vegetable plants, herb starts, and succulents to get your home garden started. You’ll discover a wide variety of heirloom tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, other vegetables and herbs that have been expertly selected and lovingly grown by us for you. We’ve carefully chosen top-performing varieties for each microclimate, ensuring that you’ll have a productive and flourishing garden this year.
There will be educational tables to help you select the best plants for your garden, and we’ll provide tips on how best to plant, grow and care for your new seedlings. Don’t miss our other activities and features too, including our exhibit and sale of beautiful succulent arrangements.

Location: Lyngso Garden Materials, Inc.
345 Shoreway Road, San Carlos 94070

Citrus Trees Care and Maintenance WorkshopEveryone should have at least one citrus in their landscape. You will learn which trees will thrive in our area, how and where to plant them, common problems and diseases, and a discussion about the Huanglongbing disease and the threat it poses to your citrus trees.

Register at lyngsogarden.com/community-resources
Co-Presenter Master Gardener Lisa Putnam: Lisa has a BS in Agricultural Economics from UC Davis, and also studied nutrition science. She currently operates a small sustainable organic farm in Woodside and is a lifetime gardener, a UC Master Gardener (2009) and Master Composter (2010). Lisa’s passions are composting and the soil food web. She teaches both summer and winter vegetable gardening at Lyngso, Common Ground and several local garden clubs.
Co-Presenter Master Gardener Kathleen Putnam: Kathleen is a professional organic vegetable gardener serving the Mid-Peninsula, is an Int’l Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist, a UC Master Gardener (2008), and has a degree in Environmental Horticulture from City College of San Francisco.
Date: 5/19/19

Lyngso Garden Materials, Inc.
345 Shoreway Road, San Carlos 94070

Backyard Irrigation WorkshopLearn about and participate in a hands-on demo to create a basic drip irrigation system using tubing, fittings and emitters.

Register at lyngsogarden.com/community-resources
Presenter Master Gardener Pete Cerri: Pete has over 50 years experience with the Pipefitters & Sprinkle Fitters Union, experience with installing automated irrigation systems for yards, greenhouses and farm fields, loves to garden, and was certified as a UC Master Gardener in 2009.
Date: 6/16/18

Lyngso Garden Materials, Inc.
345 Shoreway Road, San Carlos 94070

All About Herbs and Edible FlowersLearn the basics of growing, harvesting and using culinary herbs and edible flowers. Propagate your plants from seeds, cuttings, transplants and divisions. Integrate your herbs and edible flowers in your native landscapes, vegetable gardens and containers. Maintain your plants with sustainable methods, and harvest your herbs to use them fresh or preserve them for future use. Have fun while sharing the many ideas for using herbs.

Register at lyngsogarden.com/community-resources
Presenter Master Gardener Kathy Fleming: Kathy loves creating a balance at her Peninsula home by growing culinary herbs and flowers in containers and her perennial landscape for more than 30 years. She uses the herbs and edible flowers in many recipes, either fresh and/or dried, and loves sharing them with her friends and neighbors. Kathy has been a San Mateo/San Francisco UCCE Master Gardener since 2006 and has always enjoyed speaking and sharing ideas about this passion.
Co-presenter Master Gardener Cindi Morris: Cindi’s affinity for plants began when she was in the fourth grade. She used to visit Ferry Morse Seed Company where her father worked. She loved peeking into the labs and seeing all of the experiments, and the best part was picking out some seed packets to take home to grow. Cindi was always amazed by the wonderful transformation of seed to flower. Over the years Cindi has continued her interest in growing plants, and today as a Master Gardener she loves assisting the home gardener with their gardens.

Visit smsf-mastergardeners.ucanr.edu for more information and check out the Flows To Bay Challenge to learn more about eco-friendly gardening and community events.

Hassett Hardware is a family-owned and operated local hardware store that carries a large selection of organics and eco-friendly supplies for your gardening needs. Flows To Bay has partnered with Hassett Hardware for our Flows To Bay Challenge this spring to bring you expert gardening advice on how to make your garden or yard as (eco)green as it can be:

Water at night. When you water at night, less water is lost to evaporation from wind and sunlight. This means you can water less often, and your plants can use that water more efficiently. As a bonus, you’ll get to better enjoy the fresh aromas of your garden first thing when you wake up on those hot summer mornings.

Use organic soils and fertilizers. We recommend Dr. Earth Home Grown Concentrated Spray, E.B. Stone Organics Soil, Planting Mix or Bat Guano (yes, bat guano!), Soil Science, Happy Frog, Whitney Farms Organic Bone Meal or Jobes Organics All Purpose Plant Food. These soils and fertilizers are natural and effective, allowing you to give your plants a boost without all the added chemicals. Tip: If you notice an OMRI logo on the packaging, which many of these products have, it means they have been third-party certified as organic.

Consider native plants for your yard. Most native plants are drought tolerant, naturally pest resistant, and generally need much less attention in all areas: watering, pest control and fertilizer. Some examples are yarrow, mallow, mountain lilac, white sage and lupine.

Plant butterfly- and bee-friendly flowers. There are many plants that bees and butterflies and even butterfly larvae like! Bees like lavender, all the basic herbs (like basil, sage, rosemary and thyme), geranium, helianthus, lupine (also native), verbena, zinnia and globe thistle. Butterflies like alyssum, yarrow (also native), cosmos, delphinium, fennel, lavender, marigold and nasturtium. If you don’t have a big garden or yard or don’t want the work of re-landscaping an area to include these lovelies, you can easily grow them in pots.

Use organic pesticides and fungicides. It’s best to use herbicides, pesticides and fungicides as a last resort via Integrated Pest Management. But if you need to switch to chemical controls, we recommend using organic and less-toxic products, like Safer Brand which has a whole range of organics to choose from: Organocide 3-in-1 Garden Spray (fungicide, miticide and insecticide), Bonide Neem Oil (which is also a three-in-one), Monterey Liqui-Cop (the active ingredient is Copper diammonia diacetate complex), Espoma Earth-Tone and Dr. Earth products.

Let your grass grow a bit longer. This helps the roots dive deeper and need less water, strengthening your lawn against pests and disease.

Pull weeds as soon as you see them rather than using a chemical weed killer. This is good exercise and can be fun for kids too.

We encourage you to participate in the Challenge and visit Hassett Hardware for your gardening supplies. Visit hassetthardware.com for more information or check out our Challenge page for a coupon for a Hassett Hardware store near you.

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