Posted by Marco Maga On November - 18 - 2016

Summary of Jane Martin (PlantSF) Talk at 2016 Annual Meeting

1. Groundcover – alternatives to grass: Consider Dymondia margaretae or Polygonum capitatum. Broadmoor Landscape Supply offers some low water, low maintenance grasses as sod. See their six “California Native” options pictured at

2. Gophers and Moles: Consider trying cages (to protect plant roots), gopher stakes and/or traps. The SF Department of the Environment provides information on environmentally responsible pest management at

3. Sidewalk Garden Requirements: you can download current guidelines from the link at While technically only 4 feet is required to be maintained as a walkway, in most areas the city will permit no less than 6 feet wide. Note: For sidewalks measuring less than 7 feet in width, contact Plant*SF for details.

4. “Watering to Establish”: All of Plant*SF’s projects are no-water gardens, meaning there is no irrigation once the plants are established. “Watering to Establish” is a concept of hand-watering newly transplanted plants for a few months while they acclimate to the new conditions. Thereafter they rely only on natural moisture (fog, rain, groundwater). If provided with regular water past this period it is possible to make otherwise low-water-need (drought tolerant) plants addicted to regular watering – to the point that they suffer or die when watering is discontinued.

5. Where to see Plant*SF Demonstration Gardens: refer to for a list.

6. Plant Lists: Plant selection guidelines including several plant lists are available at

7. To report water wasting (such as an absentee neighbor who has a faulty irrigation system):

8. Parklets and Pavement to Parks: Information on this program of the Planning Department to turn excess street space and parking spaces into public gathering areas is at Jane Martin of Plant*SF is responsible for the design of two Pavement to Parks projects, “Naples Green” and “Guerrero Park” and the so-far-only-residential parklet at 937 Valencia Street. Individual residents or groups interested in proposing a residential parklet and/or neighborhood pavement to parks project are welcome to contact me at

9. Members are welcome to contact me with additional questions at

Comments are closed.