The hottest days of the summer are over, and things should be cooling down soon. It’s a good time to add plants to our landscapes. Since irrigation systems will still be running for a couple more months, there’s time to water new plants and help them get established before winter.
- Planting now gives new plants a head-start on next growing season. When spring comes around, they’ll be established and ready to take off and grow.
- Choose the right plants. Look for plants that can thrive in Colorado. Our elevation and at times harsh environment can be a challenge for plants. And with ever-present drought, it’s important to choose plants with low water requirements. Don’t limit yourself to flowering perennials, either. Consider adding trees or shrubs to your landscape, too.
- Be flexible. A local nursery or garden center or a landscape professional can guide you to plants that will enhance your landscape despite the challenges. But have a few choices in mind; supplies may be limited. Many have turned to gardening and renovating their landscapes during the pandemic, and growers can’t make new plants overnight.
Follow this checklist when establishing plants now or any time of year:
- Place plants according to the micro-environments within your landscape. Match plant needs to locations in the yard that provide sun or shade, good or poor drainage, shelter from buildings, etc.
- Know how large plants will be at maturity and avoid placing soon-to-be large plants too close together. Give them the space they need to grow without being overcrowded.
- Group plants with similar water requirements together so you can water them efficiently without over-watering some or under-watering others.
- Remember that even very low-water plants require regular drinks of water to become established. Make sure they get established before cutting back to little to no water.
- Place mulch around newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials to help retain moisture.
- After the sprinkler system is winterized, check plants regularly and water as needed especially during times with little or no precipitation.
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