What is Smart Gardening?

Smart gardening is designed to help diminish the amount of waste going into landfills by reducing yard waste. It’s also a great way to use less water and less energy, and still have a great looking yard. The idea was born out of a set of techniques meant to divert waste from our landfills through a few simple practices from composting, to water-wise gardening, to grasscycling.

So how do we Smart Garden?

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works provides free Smart Gardening workshops to get you started. There are Beginning Workshops available for the Smart Gardening novice as well as Advanced Workshops. Beginner workshops provide hands-on instruction on the basic techniques of composting, water-wise gardening, and grasscycling. Advanced workshops teach you more about organic gardening, local and native plants, and integrated pest management.

Several workshops have compost bins and worm compost bin kits available for purchase at a discount. You can find your nearest workshop here.

Water-Wise Gardening

Sometimes we in Southern California forget that we live in a desert and continue to import millions of gallons of water to meet our needs. But, as water has become shorter in supply and higher in cost, exacerbated by frequent droughts brought on by climate change, we have had to adopt innovative ways to adjust our uses of water to alleviate these constraints. A part of the solution to this problem is practicing water-wise gardening, a technique consisting of five simple steps to maintain an efficient and beautiful garden that requires less water.

For more information on water-wise gardening and the five-step checklist, click here.

For all general information on Smart Gardening, click here.

For more information on LA County’s free Smart Gardening workshops, click here.

To sign up for notifications of our Smart Gardening Workshops, click here and check the box next to “Smart Gardening Workshops” under the Event Notifications section. An e-mail notification will be sent to you every time an event meets your preferences.

Backyard Composting

This technique is a simple method of managing organic waste at home that can be adapted to fit any kind of lifestyle, income, or yard size. When you produce your compost, you’ve created an excellent soil conditioner that can enhance aeration and soil water/nutrient retention. Part of backyard composting can also involve the practice of grasscycling, which is as simple as it is good for the environment. In grasscycling, you merely take turns leaving your grass clippings on your lawn one week, then the next week, dump your new clippings into your compost bin. For more information on backyard composting, click here. To learn more about grasscycling, click here.

Worm Composting

This fun and efficient technique is another natural and straightforward method of Smart Gardening. With worm composts, your fruit and vegetable scraps can be turned into rich nutrients for your soil. All you need is a container filled with moistened bedding, worms, and food scraps. For more information on worm composting, click here.

Heavily discounted worm composting bins are sold at Smart Gardening Workshops for $65 each and include 1/2 lb of worms. Limit two bins per household. Cash or check only.