Thursday, March 29, 2007

Organic Landscape Maintenance in Sacramento

Recently, the Sacramento Stormwater Quality Partnership published the River-Friendly Landscape Guide, along with a companion brochure for homeowners titled "Choosing a Landscape Professional." The brochure gives general guidelines for choosing an ecologically aware landscape professional, but doesn't list local companies following "river-friendly" landscape practices. That left me wondering-- Who in the Sacramento area offers organic or river-friendly or ecologically sound (i.e. sustainable) landscape maintenance services?

Guess what? I found a couple.

The emphasis seems to be on lawns, probably because nearly every house has one and it's still a measure of residential prowess. It's also true that while neighbors compare lawns like cars, nobody seems to want to maintain their own.

We hire mow-and-blow crews and maintenance companies employing traditional methods for keeping grass frequently shorn, weed free and dark green... but at what cost? High water requirements aside, lawn maintenace has traditionally contributed to fertilizer and pesticide runoff into our creeks and rivers, not to mention the residual hazards to people, pets and wildlife right on our very own properties.

In today's copy of Inside Arden, I learned about State of the Earth, a local company offering residential and commercial landscape services promoting, according to their website, "... sustainable landscapes by using intelligent practices and organic materials, creating more robust and vibrant plant communities that looks great and can cope more successfully with seasonal changes and threats from pests."

State of the Earth
Phone: 916-978-9630
Snail Mail: P.O. Box 255366, Sacramento, CA 95865

I've also heard much about Steve Zien's
Living Resources Company over the years. According to the Living Resources Company website, they "...will evaluate your soil type, fertility, and percolation rate, grass type, turf density, pests present, and thatch depth. A custom organic fertility and pest management program is then designed and implemented to improve and maintain your landscape at its best. Normal maintenance includes foliar fertilization, pest control monitoring, and recommendations. Pest control and weed control can also be included at the option of the client."

Living Resources Company
Snail Mail: BUGS, P.O. Box 76, Citrus Heights, CA 95611
Phone: 916-726-5377

In a related vein, if you have a chance to install an ecologically friendly landscape or want to revamp your old landscape, you might want to call licensed contractor Dave Roberts of Roberts Landscape. His focus is sustainable landscapes and his creds are impressive.

David R. Roberts, Owner
5960 South Land Park Drive #174
Sacramento, CA 95822
Telephone : 916/444-6458
Fax : 916/441-6066

  • State of California Contractors License #590317, C-27 Landscape
  • Bachelor of Science in Ornamental Horticulture 1975 California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Member of the California Landscape Contractors Association
  • California Department of Pesticide Regulation Qualified Applicator License #30038
  • California Certified Nursery Professional #626 since 1975
  • Liability
  • Workmans Compensation
  • Available upon request

If, on the other hand, you're a DIY'er, by all means order the River-Friendly Landscape guide and frequent the UC IPM website. Your lawn and garden can look as green and pristine as your neighbors' without a single skull-and-crossbones-bearing product.

Whether you're a DIY'er or prefer to hire out, you now have some very viable options for switching to greener methods of maintaining your yard without risking the health of your family, your pets, your neighbors and everything downstream of you. Imagine if we all did that (cue John Lennon music).

My next quest? A list of landscape maintenance companies using quiet, non-polluting tools. Am I dreaming?