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Pretty Plants That Don’t Guzzle Water

lantana flower

In Colorado, we love our landscapes and we are spending more time outdoors where we can enjoy them. With so much of our state in drought conditions and under water restrictions, we are reminded we need to look for plants that are easy to grow, can handle summer heat – and don’t need a lot of water.

If you are looking for more water-wise ideas for what to plant this year, here are some plants you might want to bring home to your yard.

Annuals for patios and porches

Our porches and patios don’t seem complete without a container or two of annual flowers. Group plants in a few large containers rather than many small ones. The bigger the container, the bigger the soil volume and that means you won’t need to water as often.

Place a large saucer under the container. It will not only protect wood decks from water damage, but collect water that runs through the container to be absorbed by the plant later.

Next, slow down evaporation by adding mulch to containers just as you would in bed areas. Mulch helps the soil retain moisture longer, meaning you need to water less often.

Top suggestions for low-water annuals include:

Lantana (pictured), Portulaca (moss rose), low water varieties of Verbena and our standby seasonal flower, Petunia. All offer instant impact in a wide variety of colors. Annuals need a week or two with a little more water to get established, and thereafter, only about ½ to ¾ inch of water per week based on the weather.

Perennials

Perennials groupsWater-wise perennials need more water during their first growing season to become established, but in following growing seasons require much less water. All the hardy, low-water plants listed below offer color and interest in the landscape and have low water needs once established.

 

  • Oenothera Silver Blade – Evening primrose
  • Sedum Blue Spruce
  • Berlandiera Chocolate Flower
  • Gaillardian Goblin – Blanket flower
  • Salvia Blue Bill – Meadow sage
  • May Night Meadow Sage
  • Wild Thing Rose
  • Perovskia Blue Steel

If you’re not familiar with these varieties, take the list to the garden center or do a quick Google search by name to see photos and learn more about each plant.

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Heads-Up On Lawn Problems This Year

Many property owners are wondering if their lawns just didn’t wake up this spring from their long winter nap – and many lawns did not. Patches of dead lawn are prevalent along the Front Range due to turf mites. 

Heads-up on lawn problems this year

They thrive in dry turf conditions and consequently, are a major problem this year due to lack of winter snow cover and moisture. Lawns that did not receive supplemental water over the winter probably suffered more.

Most of the mite damage has been done by now. If the lawn is damaged, it’s not too late to hand water damaged areas to kill any mites that remain. But if areas of the lawn are dead, they will need to be replaced.

Other potential lawn problems are just ahead. Be aware of them so if your grass turns to straw, you don’t apply more water and make the problem worse.

Ascochyta Leaf Blight

If your lawn suddenly looks “dead,” suspect Ascochyta Leaf Blight. Infected lawns turn straw-colored and this can happen quickly, almost overnight. Our spring conditions could open the door to this turf problem.

Ascochyta occurs when we move quickly from cool, rainy periods to the very warm temps like those in the forecast for next week. While lawns look unsightly, the good news is the roots are rarely threatened and extra TLC can help restore the lawn.

Since wet conditions drive the blight, it is critical to avoid over watering. Make sure the lawnmower blade is sharp as dull blades damage the lawn leaf. Reduce mowing frequency and raise low mower settings to a height of 3 to 3 ½ inches. With proper care and lack of excessive moisture, the lawn should recover within a couple weeks.

Frog eye

Frog eye

Another common and more serious turf problem is “frog eye” or Necrotic Ring Spot (NRS). You may see it in early summer, but it will be most prevalent in July and August when lawns are usually the most stressed. NRS creates circular, doughnut-like patches in the lawn. Because it is a perennial fungus problem that also attacks roots, it is more difficult to manage and can be an ongoing threat.

When people see the brown patches in their lawn, they almost instinctively water the lawn more. This is, however, the worst thing to do as over-watering aggravates the problem.

What you should do:

  • Set the mower height to at least 3 inches, avoid cutting off more than 1/3 of grass length at one time and grass cycle clippings on the lawn with a mulching mower.
  • Cut back on fertilizer and provide the highest application of Nitrogen in a slow release form in the fall.
  • Aerate in the spring.
  • Get professional input, particularly if you consider applying a fungicide. Timing is critical and other considerations also apply.

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Info To Know Before You Mow

Maintenance of your lawn requires periodic mowing and trimming that an expert or you can do easily taking suitable precautionary measures. This blog guides readers about the safety tips and other reminders, which will facilitate them, get the best results and long-lasting performance from their mowing equipment.

Best Aurora Mowing Services

Light Pollution Hurts More Than The View

Light pollution is damaging to the ecosystem as it reduces the number of nocturnal pollinators thereby making a significant impact on agricultural productivity. This blog highlights the importance of reducing light pollution and enumerates important steps to do so for a productive and sustainable ecosystem.

Light pollution hurts more than the view

Go For Diversity!

With the increasing risk of damage to ash trees by Emerald ash borer, it becomes imperative for gardeners and property owners in Colorado to plant a variety of trees in their yards. In this blog Keith Wood, urban and community forest manager for Colorado State Forest Service shares his wisdom with others and highlights the importance of planting trees of various species.

Go for diversity!

Simple Steps To Garden Success

Planting a highly productive veggie garden requires following some basic steps that would help people get an array of benefits from the same. This blog enumerates those important points that can guide gardeners and property owners to plant, maintain and harvest a successful veggie garden.

Simple Steps To Garden Success

Plan Now to Bring in Pollinators

Planting diverse flowering plants— be they annual, perennial, herbs, shrubs and trees at the right time is important to attract pollinators and maintain a suitable habitat for them. This not only helps people make their lawns or veggie gardens rich and refreshing but also provide a plethora of benefits and make gardens an eye candy for all.

Plan now to bring in pollinators

Pay Attention to What You Buy and Apply

This blog highlights the importance of selecting, purchasing and applying the right products in the right way in gardening or landscaping that provides the best result. Be it using the spray, fertilizers or other chemicals, it is important to apply the same in the correct way following all the precautions that will ensure proper nutrition to lawn and garden products.

Pay attention to what you buy  and apply

Here’s your excuse to be one!

Mowing lawns less frequently, once in two or three weeks and watering deeply in the morning and less frequently with a sprinkler system can be quite effective and economical and help people maintain a healthy lawn. Understanding and applying some smart ways of good lawn care would provide people with a host of benefits.

Here's your excuse to be one!

How to Garden on Betwixt and Between Days

Gardening and maintaining your lawn in spring can be quite difficult as it has a mix of warm days and cool or snowy days in Colorado. This blog brings out some important tips for people to do during the early spring days that will help them save time and maintain their lawns or gardens beautifully even in inclement weather conditions.

How to garden on betwixt and between days

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