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Heat and smoky skies continue

Record-breaking high temperatures aren’t the best conditions for growing vegetables. The heat, and smoke from wildfires, aren’t good for the gardener, either. Take care of your garden and yourself with these tips.  Caring for heat-stressed veggies  •	Check soil moisture often and water so soil remains uniformly moist.  •	If your plants wilt during the hottest part of the day, know that this is their way of coping with the heat. You should see them perk up in the evening as temps cool.  •	Apply mulch around plants to keep the soil cool and to retain moisture.   Heat safety tips for humans •	Avoid working in your garden during the midday heat. Harvest your veggies in the morning when it is cooler.  •	Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.  •	Try to work in the shade. A hat with a wide brim can protect your face.  •	If you wear a mask, remember that cotton is more breathable than synthetic fabrics.  •	If your mask has a filter pocket, a PM2.5 filter can add some protection on days of poor air quality due to smoke.   Our landscapes can be an extension of our homes and a place to socialize and relax. But if the temperatures are high and air quality is low, it’s better for your health to spend a little more time indoors until conditions improve.

Record-breaking high temperatures aren’t the best conditions for growing vegetables. The heat, and smoke from wildfires, aren’t good for the gardener, either. Take care of your garden and yourself with these tips.

Caring for heat-stressed veggies

  • Check soil moisture often and water so soil remains uniformly moist.
  • If your plants wilt during the hottest part of the day, know that this is their way of coping with the heat. You should see them perk up in the evening as temps cool.
  • Apply mulch around plants to keep the soil cool and to retain moisture.

Heat safety tips for humans

  • Avoid working in your garden during the midday heat. Harvest your veggies in the morning when it is cooler.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.
  • Try to work in the shade. A hat with a wide brim can protect your face.
  • If you wear a mask, remember that cotton is more breathable than synthetic fabrics.
  • If your mask has a filter pocket, a PM2.5 filter can add some protection on days of poor air quality due to smoke.

Our landscapes can be an extension of our homes and a place to socialize and relax. But if the temperatures are high and air quality is low, it’s better for your health to spend a little more time indoors until conditions improve.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Battle the bugs

Battle the bugs

Recent hot days and precipitation are a perfect combination for insects in our gardens and landscapes. Keep an eye on your garden, especially edible plants, and act on pests as soon as you spot them.

  • Aphids
  • Aphids commonly appear on mixed lettuce greens, radishes, broccoli and kale. Try planting marigolds and lemon thyme to help deter this messy pest.
  • If you have roses of any kind, you might also see aphids on buds, tender new growth and even stems. Be aware that aphids multiply by live birth and are clones of their mothers. Their numbers can explode in one day, so take care of them as soon as you see them.

One method is to fill a quart spray bottle with tepid water and one tablespoon of dish detergent. Spray on plants for quick and easy aphid control. You can also visit your local garden center for ladybugs to release in the garden to help control the pests.

  • Japanese beetles
  • Japanese beetles can devastate garden plants and can do so quickly. In a matter of days, they can “skeletonize” leaves of a variety of plants. After their chomping, all that remains is a filigree of the leaf, as all the soft green tissue has been chewed away.
  • Japanese beetles love roses, both the flowers and leaves. They also enjoy raspberries, grapes, Virginia creeper, American linden, horse chestnut, and green beans. When you spot adult beetles in your landscape, the best method is to shake or pick them off plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water. Experts warn against beetle traps; the trap’s lure may actually attract additional beetles into your yard, and traps are not proven to reduce the amount of destruction the insects cause.

Many pest controls are available from garden centers, including soaps and other treatments. Some of these products should not be applied to edibles, so read labels and follow the instructions before using. And if an infestation seems out of control, consult a professional to help you manage the situation.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

It’s good to be a drip

It's good to be a drip
  • When your faucet drips, it wastes water. But when your irrigation drips, it could be using water wisely. Drip irrigation uses a low pressure, low volume method of applying water directly to the base of plants or at the roots. If you have a small landscape area, are setting up a container garden, or need to water individual plants instead of a large area of turf, drip might be the watering method for you.
  • As mentioned a few weeks ago in this Tip of the Week, watering slowly is an effective way to use water efficiently. A drip irrigation system waters slowly and with precision, getting the water right to the spots that need it most and takings its time to do so.
  • Talk with a landscape professional about where drip irrigation might benefit your landscape. When used correctly, it can make every drop of water count, saving you money and helping your plants thrive.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Lose the lawn bag

Lose the lawn bag
  • Emptying your grass catcher can be a hot, messy job in the heat of summer. Save yourself the work and improve your landscape in the process by grasscycling. Leaving your grass clippings on the lawn helps return nutrients to the soil and reduce evaporation from the soil.
  • If you’ve got a mulching mower, you’re ready to grasscycle. Be sure the blades are sharpened, and your mower will cut your grass into lengths that are perfect for leaving on the lawn.
  • If you’ve left your lawn a little too long and fear the clippings would be too heavy, you can still skip the bag by using your grass clippings as mulch in your vegetable garden. Just like other mulches, the clippings help hold in moisture and keep weeds at bay. Then, be sure to schedule mowing so that you aren’t cutting more than 1/3 of the lawn’s total length. That will leave you with just enough grass to leave on the lawn and reap the benefits of grasscycling.
  • Worried that clippings will make your lawn look messy? Be patient. It may take a few hours, but the clippings will settle into the soil to decompose. If you can’t wait that long, you can gently rake the clippings to spread them and help them settle more quickly.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Save water, save money

Save water, save money
  • Water-efficient sprinklers, smart controllers, and low-maintenance plants help you conserve water and save time on maintaining your landscape. Using less water can save you money, too, after the initial investment. You may also be eligible for rebates to offset that initial investment as well.
  • Contact your municipality or water provider to see what rebates are currently available. Some providers, like Aurora Water, offer rebates for converting to water-wise landscapes with low-water-use plants. Others, like Denver Water, offer rebates purchasing WaterSense-rated efficiency devices or high-efficiency sprinkler nozzles.
  • As drought continues in Western Colorado—the source of much of our water—now is the time to make changes to your landscape that conserve water. Rebates and grants can help subsidize those costs so that you start saving money sooner.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

The heat is on

heat is on

The Front Range is hot right now, and your plants might be feeling it a little too much. Here are a few tips for helping your landscape cope with high temperatures and sun.

  • The best defense is a good offense
  • The best way to help your plants survive Colorado’s altitude, intense sun, cold winters, and hot summers is to select plants that like to live here. If you are adding or replacing plants this year, look for low-water plants that work best in our conditions. Native plants are a great choice, and may even be better suited to withstand the temperature swings, hail, and other extreme weather events we see each year in the state.
  • Right plant, right place
  • The location of your plants is also important to consider. Any plants that face south or west and get a lot of sun will need more water. With containers, make sure they are in a good potting soil that retains moisture throughout the day.
  • Don’t worry too much
  • If your plants are wilting, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are dying. Plants will wilt either because they need moisture or because it’s their coping mechanism to conserve moisture during the heat of day. If you look at the same plant at night that was wilted during the day, it may be back to normal. Resist the urge to overwater. To know if the plant really needs water, check the soil with a screwdriver probe. If the soil is dry 2” into the soil, it needs water.
  • Mulch for moisture
  • Make sure you have wood mulch or even grass clippings on the soil to retain moisture—the added benefit is that this will help control weeds.
  • Make sure our plants don’t dry out while you’re on vacation
  • If you don’t already have a smart irrigation system, you can buy a timer to make sure your plants get the water they need while you’re gone. Drip irrigation is very useful for consistent moisture. Talk with a landscape professional about how to create a watering system that works for your landscape and can keep it properly watered while you’re away.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Slower is smarter

Slower is smarter
  • Smart technology can help you save money, conserve water, and keep your landscape looking great. As we kick off Smart Irrigation Month, we’ve got a tip for using technology to do just that: water slowly.
  • If water is applied too quickly, it can run off into the street or sidewalk instead of being absorbed into the soil and getting to the roots of your plants. Smart irrigation regulates pressure, ensuring water has a chance to soak into the ground.
  • Using a smart irrigation system with weather- and soil-moisture-based controllers allows your system to automatically adjust the watering schedule based on conditions at your location. That customization can go a long way to lowering your water bill and ensuring that your plants don’t get too much or too little water.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Try native grasses

Try native grasses

Turf serves an important purpose: it provides recreation areas for adults, kids, and pets alike. But native grasses bring a character all their own, with the added bonus of being low-water and low-maintenance once established. Ornamental grasses can also provide height, varying texture, movement, and year-round interest. Consider adding them to your landscape this year.

A few examples of Colorado native grasses for your consideration:

  • Blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis). Did you know that Colorado has an official state grass? It does, and it chose blue grama, a drought-tolerant prairie grass. You can choose to leave it unmown, or you can mow it at 3” or higher, but it can’t handle high foot traffic. Try planting it with native wildflowers for a beautiful, low-maintenance look.
  • Buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides). Want to use native plants but still want turf-like grass? Buffalo grass requires an investment in establishing it, but once successful it is incredibly low-maintenance. As with blue grama, it’s not a good choice if your landscape sees a lot of use or traffic.
  • Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis). As the name suggests, this plant drops seeds that will support native birds. It grows to about two feet tall and turns a lovely orange color in the fall.

Planting tips

  • Grasses don’t need to be separated into a designated “grass garden.” Place grasses among other perennials where they can serve as a border, a backdrop or a vertical element among other plants. Create a grouping of three to five plants as you might with other perennials.
  • Avoid planting grasses late in the growing season as they tend not to do well with late-season planting. For best results, plant them before September 15 so they have sufficient time to get well established before winter sets in.
  • Consult a landscape professional to help you choose the right native grasses for your landscape’s microclimates.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

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