Tips From The Expert: FREE Ocean Friendly Garden Series – Save money on your water bills!

by Christine Wied

With little rain this year and water rates increasing, now may be the time to think about replacing a water-hungry grass lawn with what is known as an Ocean Friendly Garden (OFG).  The Ventura County Chapter of The Surfrider Foundation in cooperation with the City of Ventura will be sponsoring an educational series open to all Ventura County residents on how to do just that.  OFG’s preserve water resources and reduce pollution into our waterways while providing attractive landscaping.

The Basics Class –

On Saturday, March 10 from 9:00 a.m. to noon in the Ventura City Hall Community Room participants will learn the fundamental concepts of an OFG and the relationship between our gardens to our watershed. Water runoff from properties not only wastes water but also can be a source of pollution from fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals that may have been used in yards and gardens. The class will teach how to apply CPR to your yard: Conservation of water, energy and habitat through native plants; Permeability through healthy, biologically active soil and techniques that allow water to percolate into the soil; Retention devices like rain barrels and rain gardens that keep water in the soil for the dry seasons or save it to water plants, preventing run off.  To reserve your spot please RSVP by email at or call (805) 652-4501.

Hands on Workshop –

For those who wish to take OFG’s a step further, on Sunday, March 25 from 9:00 a.m. to noon a session will be held on-site at a local resident’s home. Participants will conduct a site evaluation and design a garden. They will also practice how to test for soil type and compaction, calculate runoff from hard surfaces and learn how to harvest the runoff.

Garden Assistance Party –

On Saturday, May 12 from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the same site as the Hands On Workshop, this session will transform a front lawn from a water-thirsty monoculture to a water-thrifty beautiful OFG! Participants will learn how to apply these techniques to their own yards.

Offered free to residents, the funding for this program comes from a grant from the California Coastal Commission Whale Tail License Plate Program. To register for the classes, contact Surfrider at or Jill Sarick at (805) 652-4501. Space is limited so register today!!!

For professional landscapers who are interested in OFG’s, there will be a Professional Level course offered on April 24.  Click here for fees and further details on this special program.

Contact:   Christine Wied, and Jill Sarick,

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