headerNo yard is completely “no-maintenance,” but these guidelines will allow you to spend more time enjoying your yard.

Photo credit: Saxon Holt, PhotoBotanic, photobotanic.com


Lawn care

Sometimes we simply need to have some lawn -- for play, pets, sports, picnics, and so on. Keeping it to a functional size, growing grass a bit taller, using earth-friendly maintenance practices, and watering it efficiently can yield these results: mowing less, saving money, using less energy, and reducing pollution. Visit Water and Your Garden to learn more about efficient irrigation.

Here are some resources for a healthy, water-efficient lawn:

Mowing Lawns: Use the 1/3 Rule. Taller grass means mowing less, shading the soil, keeping it cooler, reducing evaporation, and encouraging deeper roots for better drought tolerance.

Grasscycling. Sounds similar to recycling aluminum cans and bottles? You’re on the right track. With few exceptions, leaving grass clippings on your lawn after mowing has many benefits.

Cycle Soak Water Conservation. The City of Folsom demonstrates an important practice to avoid water runoff into gutters and storm drain systems.

Tips for a Beautiful, Healthy Lawn. Our Water Our World provides a list of eco-friendly products to you if, and only if, you need another tool in the toolbox to help manage pests.

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns. This website is chock full of information about new lawns, established lawns, watering guides, identifying pests, and more.

Want to ditch your lawn or at least reduce its size?

Reduce it or remove it. Use less water by using low water-use ground cover to mimic the look of lawn or use drought-tolerant and California native plants that attract wildlife and pollinators.

Beyond Lawn. How to remove your lawn? Start with this article by the UC Master Gardeners of Sacramento County. 

If you do keep your lawn, make sure to dispose of clippings properly. Check out the City of Roseville’s Trash and Green Waste guidance.

Turf Removal, Rain Garden, Sheet Mulch. Watch this entertaining, informative, and fast-paced video by the Los Angeles Department of Power and Light.

What’s the best lawn-removal method for you?

Watch these animated short videos from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California:

Identifying & Removing Lawn Types

Sheet Mulching – Step-by-Step

Solarization – Step-by-Step

Sod Removal – Step-by-Step

Integrated pest management

What is a pest? A pest can be any organism that impacts or damages homes, plants, humans, animals, and ecosystems. Examples include weeds, insects, rodents, diseases, or anything that is considered a nuisance.

Before reaching for a pesticide – the overall category that includes insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and rodenticides – there’s a common-sense approach for managing pests, rather than completely destroying them, which can have numerous negative impacts.

What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)? It's a common-sense approach to managing pests in a way that does the least harm first. As shown in this IPM triangle, preventing pest issues is the foundation. IPM uses a number of methods to manage the pests, thus, “integrated”, starting with those that are non-chemical and least-toxic. Practicing IPM helps to keep your garden healthy and minimize risk to people and the environment.


What is IPM and How to Use it in Your Garden is a short video by GrowOrganic Peaceful Valley.

UC IPM Home, garden, turf, and landscape pests helps you identify the pest, determine if the population is worthy of taking action and, if so, when is the best time and management practice that will be most effective.

Seasonal Landscape IPM Checklist for the low elevations of Placer County.

Planting a Healthy Garden includes selecting plants that attract beneficial insects.

Pesticides and Water Quality helps to understand and manage threats to wildlife, people, pets, and the environment.

Roseville Stormwater and your home has an interactive guide to learn ways to reduce pollutants such as pesticides from entering the waterways near your home.

Roseville Gardening Workshops and How-to Videos has a Stormwater Series of videos with easy ways to grow healthy plants, how to avoid the use of pesticides, and protect our waterways.

Tree and plant care

Let’s be honest. There is no such thing as a no-maintenance garden, but your garden can require a lot less maintenance. Think of it this way: As humans, we take care of ourselves with healthy diets, exercise, and routine checkups. The same goes for the trees and plants in our gardens.

The top priority in our landscape – TREES! Why? They provide many benefits: they release oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide and air pollutants, stabilize soil reducing erosion and storm water runoff, reduce energy use, and they are beautiful. There are also benefits that we may not realize. Trees provide shade, gathering places, wildlife habitat, increase property values, and provide a sense of calm, safety, and wellbeing. Learn more at the International Society of Arboriculture’s website Trees are Good.

Learn how to select, plant, and properly care for trees at these resources.

Sacramento Tree Foundation

Roseville Urban Forest Foundation (RUFF)

Training Young Trees by UC Horticultural Advisor Larry Costello and Certified Arborist Ellyn Shea.

Arbor Day Foundation

Caring for Plants & Your Landscape

Plant Profiles at Eco-Friendly Landscape Design Plans for the New California Landscape

How to Prune California Native Plants by UC Placer County Master Gardeners

Basic Pruning & Deadheading Techniques For Common California Native Plants by Yerba Buena Nursery.

Creating and Caring for Your Native Garden by the Tree of Life Nursery.

Maintaining Your Garden by the Municipal Water District of Orange County. Fact Sheets on nearly every garden care topic and a month-by-month guide.

Growing Beautiful Roses by Our Water Our World

Roses: Cultural Practices and Weed Control by UC IPM

Ornamental Grass Care Tips by High Country Gardens.

Pruning Ornamental Grasses with OSU Master Gardeners

Edible garden care

Looking for more ways to reduce your carbon footprint? There’s nothing better than gathering fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs directly from your garden. Be inspired by these resources.

Roseville Workshops and How-to Videos. UC Master Gardeners of Placer County provide webinars and resources about vegetable garden basics, raised planter beds, fruit tree care, and more!

Growing Vegetables in Placer County by UC Master Gardeners of Placer County.

UC The California Garden Web by UC Master Gardener Program.

The Home Orchard, Home Vegetable Gardening, Composting, and Harvest Day by the UC Master Gardeners of Sacramento County.

Garden Smart. Create a beautiful stress-free Sacramento-area landscape year round by the Regional Water Authority.

Urban Farmstead. From lawn to edible garden.

Edible Landscaping. Bring vegetables and fruits into all areas of your garden by Rosalind Creasy.

7 Ways to Create a Moveable Edible Garden If You’re Renting