Ventura County Resource Conservation District
Being Californians, we must learn to live with fire. It is important to understand its role in our environment and for us to learn how to better manage wildfires to allow natural processes to continue while protecting life and property.
The Importance of Wildfire
Planning a fire safe garden isn't just walking to your local nursery and picking out a few plants. It is important to account for proper spacing, hardscape features, watering, long-term maintenance and applicability.
Learn how to plan your garden by clicking below:
Planning YOUR Firescape!
Choosing that perfect plant is never easy. But choosing the right plant is essential when creating a firescaped landscape. Be sure that plantings are fire resistant, low resin, high moisture content, and are easily maintained. Click below for the Ventura County Fire Department Plant Guide.
A maintained garden is a safe garden!
A useful place to start is by visualizing the end result. Using flags will help with creating a design. Place different colors to represent different features. For us, we used blue flags to outline our dry river bed, orange flags for the main pathways, and yellow flags for supplemental paths.
Don't forget to assess the sun exposure in your garden to make sure sun-loving plants and shade-loving plants end up in the correct areas. Lastly, water the ground before planting to ensure moist soil to facilitate easier digging
Planning it out
Once the soil is prepped and hardscaping is done, lay out your plants. Put them exactly as you want them placed in the garden. Be sure to walk around to different vantage points, ensuring you like the look. Keep in mind the firescape zones and don't forget fertilizer. We reccommend using a fertilizer/soil mix. Pure fertilizer has the potential to burn plants, causing irrepairable damage. Once in the ground, give the plants a nice watering, they will be thirsty after transplant.
We want to give a BIG THANK YOU to Brett Hartman and his Environmental Restoration Course at CSU Channel Islands. They were an integral part of the planting process. It was a great day!
This project was completed in partnership with California Fire Safe Council and Edison International
Creating Pathways and Hardscapes
One of the first steps of creating a garden is the hardscape. It is the bread and butter of your garden, allow it to be the foundation of what you want to build off of. The foundation of our hardscape were two pathways. When creating our pathways, we lined the bottom with a plastic weed barrier or cloth to reduce weed growth, we also used bender board on the edges. This board keeps the rocks in place and outlines the pathway very nicely.
We made sure to measure our pathways out to meet ADA requirements so that everyone can enjoy the garden. DON'T FORGET, compact the rock after installation in the pathway. This wil give a more finished look to the overall project.
Want to learn more? And on the go? Check out some of the brochures below for quick reference guides to firescaping and landscape resiliency. Learn why wild land fire is important and how you can contribute towards landscape resiliency. Even draw out your own firescape in YOUR own yard! Click below to learn more: