EarthPlay at Oak Grove School – Saturday, April 19, 2014


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Earth Play 2014 Highlights Include:
performances by Lissie,
Dave Palmer
& Friends
, and Kalinka
student performances from across the Valley, Peace Sticks, Presentations in the Go-Green Zone, Yoga, Science, a Climbing Wall, Interactive Arts and Crafts, Nature Presentations, Food from Around the World, Ojai Film Festival Green Screen… and much more!
EarthPlay 2014
Ojai’s Official Earth Day Event
April 19, 2014 – 11:00AM to 4:00PM
Oak Grove School – 220 West Lomita, Ojai
earth day ojai 2013In celebration of sustainable living, global awareness, and the joy of nature Food for Thought, Oak Grove School, Ojai Valley Green Coalition, Ojai Land Conservancy, and Once Upon a Watershed are teaming up again to host this once-a-year community event – EarthPlay 2014 – 11:00AM – 4:00PM. The day will include involvement from schools across the valley, environmental exhibits, arts and outdoor activities for all ages, live entertainment, world foods and more. Everything takes place under the trees on Oak Grove School’s 150-acre campus, 220 W. Lomita Avenue, Ojai. Admission is free. Visitors will also have ample opportunities to find ways to live greener and appreciate the natural wonders we all share. EarthPlay 2014 will be filled with color and creativity. Exhibitors will share their earth-friendly products and services, provide hands-on activities, and present informational and interactive displays. Also, check out the hybrid and electric vehicles on display, including E Bikes! We look forward to seeing you there!
Ride your bike to the event and use the free bike valet on site, and enjoy fantastic food from around the world when you arrive. Bring your refillable water bottle!

Earth Day at Oak Grove School

This year, the grand prize is a trip to Florence, Italy valued at $5,000, or $4,000 in cash. Additional prizes include gift baskets valued at $500 each.The Early Bird drawing is March 29th.
1 ticket = $10 / 5 tickets =$40
Email or call Oak Grove School to buy tickets.

Ojai Trolley
Ojai Trolley is providing free rides to Earth Play all day on April 19th. Visit Ojai Trolley for their full schedule. Yay Ojai Trolley!

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Oak Grove School | 220 W. Lomita Ave | Ojai | CA | 93023


Casitas Water district hosts turf removal workshop


Addressing a crowd of more than 100 at Saturday’s “Remove Your Turf” workshop in Oak View, Renee Roth of Rainscape Designs explains the type of grasses and what must be done to remove turf. The event was sponsored by Casitas Municipal Water District and included advice from Flora Gardens owner Carolina Murillo about drought-tolerant plants. Upcoming free water-saving events include “Designing with Native Plants” May 17 and a rainwater/graywater workshop Aug. 16. Visit www.casitaswater.org for more information. (photo by Tim Dewar)
© Ojai Valley News


Watering Schedule for Turf/Medium/Low water using plants in Coastal Zones

The chart below, from City of Ventura Water website, applies to Coastal Zone cities like Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Ventura, Carpenteria and Santa Barbara

Ojai and Santa Paula are inland, so it is hotter, meaning higher evapotranspiration rate (Ojai is similar to Santa Paula, which is our closest weather station, at ETO of 55), meaning more water is required than coastal cities.

The unpredictable “climate chaos” makes it difficult to predict the “right” amount of water to apply. Typically, we overwater our landscapes, because it is hard to know how much to water—it is complicated to figure out.  It is based on evapotranspiration rates, that are determined by climate data such as heat, humidity, wind, and they are based on amount of water is takes to keep grass looking good, which is set at 100% of ETo.  Everything else is calibrated off of the amount of water it takes to grow turf grass.

When plants look stressed, we tend to add water and fertilizers to try to help them. Since rain water is scarce these days, it is good to challenge plants to dig deeper roots. That means deliberately using less water, watching plants closely, and looking for signs of under watering like curled leaves, wilted leaves, and leaves turning color. Plants that are deciduous need very little water.

For more info on watering, see Four Signs You are Overwatering Your Plants

To determine how much water your plants really need, identify plant genus, species or common name and look plants up on WUCOLS IV which assigns plants to High, Medium, Low and Very Low water requirement by zones. Ojai is in Zone 4, Ventura is in Zone 3.



Convert Your Turf to SAVE WATER

convert turf today and save water

Come learn how to replace the traditional turf centric landscape with more climate appropriate plants that SAVE WATER! Renee Roth and Carolina Murillo will share lawn removal methods and ideas for more sustainable garden designs that can save money, water and time while reducing runoff and supporting wildlife.  Bring a neighbor or a friend!

Reserve a seat by calling Ron Merkling with Casitas Water District 805-649-2251×118

Renee Roth is a Committee member of Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Garden in Ventura County and leads classes on how to save water and reduce runoff in your landscape by capturing rainwater in the landscape. Carolina Murillo, a self proclaimed “plant junkie” runs Flora Gardens, a full service nursery that sells plants and gardening supplies that is located off of Old Baldwin Road in Ojai.





Another rain garden installed today in Santa Barbara

February 8, 2014 I was in Santa Barbara today working on a rain garden. They went all out on the rock in the rain garden (which is very time consuming and expensive) but this gives an idea of “sheet mulching”… you see the pile of mulch, two wheelbarrows, rakes etc in action. They used a different color of mulch to define pathway. Design by Jeff Adams of WMG
It is beautiful . . .
here are some pictures.


How to water Trees

From Ojai Trees web site:

Each time you water the tree it should be a slow deep soak at the edges of the tree’s dripline (not directly on the trunk), with water penetrating to the deeper tree roots – 12″ deep for a young tree. For most new 15 gallon size trees, this will be about 10 to 15 gallons of water. Then wait and let the surface layer (top 6″) dry out between waterings. If you do this you will be able to water less often and the tree’s roots will go deeper, which is a good thing.

A soil probe is the best tool to quickly check subsurface moisture. It also has the added benefit of letting some air into the soil. Yes, air – it’s one of the ingredients plant roots need in order to live. Also, if you think it best to err on the side of too much, keep this in mind: Most residential plant problems are caused by overwatering. 

Keeping all that in mind, we suggest you water your tree once a week in summer; every 10 to 14 days in spring and fall. Keep track of the weather. More frequent waterings may be necessary in very hot weather. In cool, moist weather or heavy soils that hold water (like clay) water less frequently.


Santa Barbara – Graywater and Rainwater


Rainwater Harvesting

via Santa Barbara – Graywater and Rainwater.