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Velazquez01This month's Spotlight is on Ramiro Velazquez of Santa Barbara. Ramiro is an Advanced Green Gardener who is extremely dedicated to helping our environment stay healthy.After taking the Green Gardener classes (both standard and advanced), Ramiro became more aware of the environment's condition and wanted to change his practices to include more resource conservation and pollution prevention. He has gained confidence in his training and wants to help other gardeners he works with by educating them.

One of Ramiro's goals is to minimize the amount of water used to irrigate plants and to retain water onsite for use in the landscape. Green Gardener has taught him that irrigating efficiently saves water, money and prevents runoff. Some of the useful practices he learned through the program have been minimizing pesticide use. He learned that plants that were attractive to pests should be replaced with more pest resistant plants to reduce pesticide use. The recent disinterest in pesticides by his customers for environmental health reasons allows Ramiro to use organic materials and not herbicides to the best of his abilities to promote a healthy ecosystem. He and his company, Enviroscaping, also strive to use mulch to preserve moisture in the soil and avert erosion. He and his company, are involved with a project installing smart irrigation controllers to replace existing conventional irrigation controllers (sprinkler timers). Smart irrigation controllers automatically calculate a scientifically-based irrigation schedule and then adjust the irrigation schedule as local weather changes.

Because of his green practices and the way he describes them to his clients, they are happy with the results for the reason that they save both water and money, and improve the health of their landscape. So with the way Ramiro does gardening, he, the consumer and the environment benefit. He educates his clients about green gardening practices and then they recommend him to their friends, making Ramiro not only a great green gardener but a great business man as well.

You can find Ramiro on the Advanced Green Gardener list.