We have so many plant choices in Colorado, it’s easy to lose track of plants that have always grown here. Yet, there are good reasons to have a few native plants growing in our yards.
The No. 1 reason to plant natives is that Colorado is NOT an easy place to grow plants. We have wild temperature swings, hard freezes, a dry climate and harsh winters. We can and do grow non-natives here, but non-natives can take more work, develop diseases that require us to buy expensive treatments and most important, they often need more water.
Natives are the plants that occur naturally in our region and they have a natural relationship with our ecosystem and wildlife. Some species like Monarch butterflies deposit their eggs on only one kind of plant – milkweed. Others aren’t quite so picky, but still prefer certain plants for their eggs. Without the plants they need to lay their eggs, we won’t have the food source of those emerging caterpillars and insects that feed 96% of our songbirds.
One of the best examples of a native plant is our state flower – the Colorado Columbine. As dainty as it looks, you would never expect it grows in our harsh growing conditions. Yet it is one of our prettiest natives.
Use other flowering perennials to dress up your yard and don’t be afraid to cut them for bouquets. Yarrow, for example, provides great color outdoors, can be used as a cut flower – and even dried for fall arrangements.
When we add more natives in our yards, we’re being Colorado-friendly, have less maintenance to do – and we save water.
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Your lawn may get affected by various problems such as Mite Damage, Ascochyta Leaf Blight, Frog Eye or Necrotic Ring Spot. Whether these problems occur due to extreme weather conditions, insufficient water, or over-watering, you will need experts’ help to overcome these lawn problems. Here is the tip of the week from the lawn experts for the best garden care.
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.
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.
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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Planting a variety of trees in your garden is a sure shot way to minimize the risk of damage caused due to the attack of pests or insects on a specific variety of tree. This infographic brings home this point and highlights steps to preserve and maintain a beautiful and productive garden.
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.