Water and Water Conservation

Rain or Shine, Do Your Part to Protect Our Oceans from Stormwater Pollution

In winter 2018, the last thing we needed to worry about was stormwater pollution. We only got 3.77 inches of rain in the official 2017-2018 water year in San Diego. Now here we are in 2019, and our first blog post of the year is about the pollution effects of all the rain we’ve been getting. It’s great news in Sana Diego to get some drought relief, watching our reservoirs fill back up and enjoying snow in the mountains. But now we need to be concerned about managing the negative effects of all this water, such as stormwater pollution. Stormwater runoff is the single biggest contributor to poor water quality in San Diego.… Read More

Good Earth Plant’s 12 Tips to Prevent Stormwater Pollution Runoff

I heard the weather report like everyone else, but I never expected the steady amount of rain we received in San Diego County this week, did you? After more than 100 days without measurable rainfall, it was a welcome sight. Rainfall has many benefits, but there is one downside. When rain falls in San Diego after many months of dry weather, pollutants that build up on surfaces like rooftops, parking lots and streets get washed into our storm drains. The reason it’s a big deal: those storm drains dump out directly into the Pacific Ocean, and all those pollutants end up in the water hurting sea life.… Read More

Help Good Earth Plants Save Our San Diego Watershed

One of the reasons I’ve always been so enthusiastic about green roofs is their contribution to stormwater management. Green roofs can capture 60-80% of rooftop rainwater runoff so less water is directed into storm drains and ultimately the ocean. A green roof becomes a strainer for whatever water does end up flowing to the storm drains, removing a lot of the particles, chemicals, pollution and other “bad stuff” which would otherwise run into our ocean. So I was extremely happy to see the City of San Diego’s new Sustainable Landscape Guidelines created in partnership with the San Diego County Water Authority.… Read More

Catch Up With Top Reader Recommended Blog Posts

Catch up with our top blog posts so far for 2016 on topics including stormwater pollution, nature and well-being, and how to recognize and treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you aren’t receiving our newsletter, sign up here on our home page. We don’t sell your information or spam you, and you can unsubscribe anytime. We don’t like spam either!  

Do Your Part to Stop Stormwater Pollution

El Nino has arrived in San Diego, and with it a lot of stormwater runoff polluting our waterways and ocean.
Just a few months ago, the Good Earth Plant Company blog was full of advice about surviving our Southern California drought. Now here we are in 2016, and our first blog post of the year is about too much rain. The anticipated El Niño winter rainstorms have hit our area. While we are all grateful to get some relief from our drought, watching our reservoirs fill back up and enjoying the sight of snow in our Laguna Mountains, we also have to be concerned about managing the negative effects of all this water, especially stormwater pollution. Stormwater runoff is the single biggest contributor to poor water quality in the ocean off San Diego.… Read More

Water, Water Everywhere: Tips to Prep for El Niño

Having sandbags standing by is a smart precaution. Photo: Courtesy City of San Marcos
It seemed like just a few days ago we were still wearing shorts and flip flops while watching our bone dry yards hang on for cooler, wetter weather ahead. Suddenly we have freeway offramps and neighborhoods flooding due to rainstorms. Is this San Diego or the Pacific Northwest? Weather forecasters tell us an El Niño winter is ahead, and based on this week’s weather you can call me a believer. It seems like the temporary answer to our drought problems and your long-suffering landscape plants. But an overabundance of water can create its own set of problems. Some of them can turn out to be destructive and very expensive to fix if you don’t take measures now to prepare.… Read More

Water Your Trees Like Mother Nature Would Water Them

Using a bucket as a drip irrigation system works well with trees. Be sure to cover the bucket to prevent accidents with children. Photo: Courtesy Goleta Water District
Two weeks ago, I wrote in this blog about our drought and the importance of preserving our trees. Go ahead and let your lawn turn brown. If you can only afford to water one thing in your yard, water your trees. One of my Good Earth Plants blog readers (thank you!) asked, “What is the best way to water my trees so they get the most water? Is there a trick to it?” We love smart questions and we will answer it here. Since we can’t always count on Mother Nature watering our trees in a Mediterranean climate during a drought, we need to help.… Read More

California’s Trees Are Worth Saving

San Diego is losing its Torrey Pines at an alarming rate because of the drought.
Have you noticed changes in the landscaping along San Diego’s freeways? Caltrans has cut a lot of trees down, replacing them with low profile, low water use landscaping. I bet Caltrans is doing this in other areas of California as well. Caltrans isn’t alone. KPBS Radio reported 100 trees have been removed from the Torrey Pines Preserve, which is a lot more than the yearly average. Twelve MILLION trees died in California state forests in 2014 because of the drought. Almost 90,000 of those were in San Diego County. All over the state, our urban and suburban street trees are being removed due to drought, disease, and because they’ve become street hazards raising sidewalks.… Read More

Ripping Out Your Lawn? Consider Foodscaping

Something as simple as a community garden can greatly increase your general happiness daily. Photo: Courtesy Karen Contreras, Urban Plantations
Homeowners in drought-stricken California have gotten serious about making changes in their water consumption. They are ripping out their water-guzzling lawns in record numbers. What they don’t always do is give a lot of thought about what will replace that lawn. So we end up seeing a lot of mulch and rocks as a quick fix. Consider a tastier alternative: Foodscaping. The simplest definition of foodscaping is landscaping with edible plants. It embraces the concept of growing food in place of lawns on private or sometime community property. It’s something in between farming, where you are growing food in a way that maximizes output, and landscaping that is meant to be decorative.… Read More

Green Roofs and the Drought: Invest Now, Save Later

GreenScaped Buildings installed this green roof at Rick Williams' Del Mar home in 2013.
Part three of a three part series We love green roofs and everything they stand for at Good Earth Plant Company and GreenScaped Buildings. Green roofs are the only feature of a building that actually improves with age, and results in extended life expectancy of a roof. Based on 65-plus years of experience with green roofs in Germany, a green roof can be expected to double or triple (and more!) the life of the underlying conventional roof by protecting it from damage due to debris, UV radiation, and the expansion an contraction caused by changes in temperature. This in turn minimizes construction waste in our landfills.… Read More