Sustainable Gardening Toolkit

Image of volunteers in the UC Davis Arboretum's Environmental GATEway.

Sustainable Gardening Toolkit

The UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden is committed to practicing, promoting and teaching about sustainable horticulture.

Traditional methods of yard care use lots of water, contaminate streams and rivers with pesticide runoff, and contribute to air pollution with emissions from power equipment. UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden visitors can learn about more environmentally-friendly alternatives such as Mediterranean-style garden design, water-saving irrigation systems, mulching, companion plantings, biological pest control, and other sustainable practices that reduce the use of water, energy, and chemical inputs and support native pollinators, birds, and beneficial insects.

Choosing the right plants for your garden is the first step. Our horticulture staff have identified 100 Arboretum All-Stars—tough, reliable, easy-to-grow plants for California. Arboretum All-Stars are available at Arboretum plant sales and, since 2009, have been available through many local retailers.

If you live in the Sacramento region, the Arboretum and Public Garden specifically promotes Valley-wise gardening, sustainable horticulture for California's Central Valley. To learn more about Valley-wise gardening, check out our sustainable gardening articles and plant lists to learn more about sustainable gardening in the Central Valley, visit some of our favorite gardening websites, or take a guided tour.

In the meantime, check out some of our most popular sustainable gardening resources on this page!

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    Click for some of our favorite gardening websites

    Ready for more? Check out these websites for even more information about sustainable horticulture, regionally appropriate gardening and natural resource conservation.

    More Gardening References

    Click to access several Pacific Horticulture articles written by Director of Public Horticulture Ellen Zagory

    "Acacias for Central Valley Gardens," Arboretum Review. Number 62, Spring 2008

    "Maintenance in Winter," Arboretum Review. Number 61, Winter 2008

    "Valley-Wise Gardening," Arboretum Review. Number 60, Fall 2007

    "Challenges for Central Valley Gardens," Pacific Horticulture., Fall 2007

    "Great Plants for Central Valley Gardens," Pacific Horticulture., Summer 2007

    "Planting Plans for Valley Gardens," Arboretum Review. Number 54, Spring 2006

    "Conserving Shields Oak Grove," Arboretum Review. Number 53, Winter 2006

    "Cast-Iron Plants," Arboretum Review. Number 49, Winter 2005

    "Salvias for Every Garden," Arboretum Review. Number 44, Fall 2003

    "Container Gardening," Arboretum Review. Number 40, Fall 2002