Nurturing Natives, Naturally Workshop Part 2: Planting Extravaganza, Sat Apr 30, 10AM-3PM


Out with the old! In with the new! Mass plantings of a variety of natives of different but complementary sizes, shapes and colors will be the basis for this garden. Join us on Saturday, April 30 from 10:00 AM- 3:00 PM as we create a mosaic of beauty in this front yard. Register now

This is the second of two workshops on successive weekends that will complete transforming an overgrown water wise garden into a native wonderland, with rainwater harvesting mulch basins. Sign up for this one or better yet, sign up for both workshops, and help the project to completion.

Get to know many of our native plants and help to create a beautiful rain garden at the same time.

Greywater 101 class at Carpinteria library, Wed April 27, 7:00-8:30 PM

Sweetwater is pleased to announce we are offering a basic class in Greywater Design and Installation in Carpinteria. The class is for anyone in the community who is interested. It includes a Powerpoint presentation, playing with mock-up parts for a laundry to landscape system, and considering individual questions about specific properties and their unique characteristics and challenges.  Get the answers we don't have time to go into in depth at our hands-on workshops.  

This class is sponsored in part by the Carpinteria Valley Water District and the City of Carpinteria.

Laundry to landscape installations will be highlighted although other greywater possibilities will be mentioned. We will look at the new Showers to Flowers regulations and examples of branched drain systems, as unincorporated areas of the county served by the Carpinteria Valley Water District have recently approved these type of projects as permit free. A variety of options for design and installation and financial incentives will also be shared. 

Suggested donation $10 per person or $15 a couple. Please pay with cash or by check at the door.

Class will be held at the Carpinteria library, 5141 Carpinteria Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013. 

Please contact barbara wishingrad at or 805-403-4566 for more information.

May 9 Technical Round Table: Increasing Soil Water Retention, Plant Health and Carbon Sequestration


Our May Technical Round Table will take place on Monday, May 9, from 7:00- 8:30 PM at the Watershed Resource Center at Hendry's Beach, as usual.  This month's topic is Increasing Soil Water Retention, Plant Health and Carbon Sequestraton. 

Forrist Tanner Lytehaause, founder of RISE: Regeneration in Soil Ecology, will present some ideas how landscape professionals can increase client satisfaction and revenue through a deeper understanding of soil.  We all need to become soil health specialists.  Increasing the soil biology and ecosystem can easily result in a 500% improvement of soil water retention, resilient plants capable of weathering climate change effects and helping the planet through substantial increases in carbon sequestration.

Your input, ideas, and experiences on these topics are welcome and encouraged.

Tres Palmas Triangle Transformation Workshop, Sat May 14, 10AM-3PM

A small HOA on the Eastside has decided to add rainwater harvesting and climate appropriate plants to their common areas, and Sweetwater is going to help make that happen!  Join us on Saturday, May 14 from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM as we touch up earthworks that have already been carved into the landscape, including a dry creek bed, and add a beautiful variety of plants. Register now

We'll be working in three different areas, each with a distinct character, orientation, size, slope, and water management issues. Most of the earthworks will be dug ahead of the workshop so that we'll have time to finish the project while learning and playing with the soil and plants.

Rainwater Harvesting 101 class, Mon May 16, 7:00-8:30 PM, Westside Neighborhood Center, Santa Barbara

This class is sponsored in part by the City of Santa Barbara Water Conservation Program.
"Rainwater harvesting is the process of capturing rain and making the most of it as close as possible to where it falls.  By harvesting rainwater on the land within the soil and vegetation, or in cisterns that will later irrigate the land, it is possible to control erosion, reduce flooding, and minimize water pollution.  This practice is enormously beneficial in a world with a finite supply of fresh water that is becoming increasingly polluted" quote from "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond" by Brad Lancaster,
Rainwater Harvesting is beneficial even in low rain years.  Downspouts can be redirected into our landscapes, via swales (channels) and mulch basins, to slow, spread, and sink the water. Basins, depressions in the soil that are filled or partially filled with mulch, create a focal point for water to percolate into the soil, creating a biologically rich sponge that is a perfect medium for nurturing drought tolerant and other plants.  Rainwater harvesting can be done on any landscape--on residential, business, and community property. 
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