Home & Garden

Learn how to keep your house safe in a wildfire

Flames cover the east side of the Cuesta Grade near Santa Margarita last summer during the Cuesta Fire.
Flames cover the east side of the Cuesta Grade near Santa Margarita last summer during the Cuesta Fire. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

This week’s Advice to Grow by Workshop hails an important topic and an honored guest. Kim Corella from Cal Fire will be speaking on the topic of fire safety in the garden.

Devastating and often deadly, fire is capable of igniting in an instant and clearing everything in its path. Despite the constant risk of fire in California, this is one threat that is seldom considered in our garden plan.

How do we embrace the natural habitat consistent with our area and maintain a safe, yet enjoyable landscape?

The workshop will focus on the garden and its relation to native wildlife, habitat and climate conditions. Learn which plants promote a fire-safe environment and which present a hazard. Weeds, particularly certain annuals, have the potential to burn rapidly and serve as kindling or “fuel.” Learn to distinguish between “good choice” plants and those that are potential fire starters.

Where your home is located and how your garden is designed are key factors in fire safety. Learn how the relationship between garden, landscape and home structures work together to fight or promote fire.

After the speaking portion of the workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to tour the garden. The group will visit the fire-safe garden plot for a demonstration on how the zones have been used in planting.

The workshop will continue with a critique session of the entire garden so that you can see areas that promote fire safety and those that could use a little work. Finally, for those hands-on learners or those who gave up their morning workout to attend, volunteers will be asked to lend a hand in the garden by doing thinning, trimming and overall fuel reduction maintenance. The workshop will be open for question and answers, so bring your questions.

Be prepared for the weather! Don’t forget to bring a comfortable chair, water, sunscreen and a hat. The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Garden of the Seven Sisters, located at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo.

Andrea Peck is a UCCE Master Gardener.

Got a gardening question?

In San Luis Obispo call 781-5939, Arroyo Grande, 473-7190 and Templeton, 434-4105. Visit us at http://ucanr.org/sites/mgslo/ or email us at anrmgslo@ucanr.edu. Follow us on Instagram at slo_mgs and like us on Facebook. Informative garden workshops are held the third Saturday of every month, 10 a.m. to noon at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. Garden docents are available after the workshop until 1 p.m. To request a tour of the garden, call 781-5939.