Green Ideas for the Colorado Homeowner
One of the biggest challenges facing homeowners along the Front Range is getting things to grow. Our soils are less than desirable, our summer sun is relentless, and rain can be nearly non-existent. To help you cope with these conditions and still have a beautiful yard and garden, go green with these suggestions:
• Choose native plants because they’ve evolved to grow in local conditions and to predictable sizes. They do not require watering (except during establishment or extended drought), chemical pesticides and fertilizers, or frequent cutting–so maintenance is minimal.
• Choose disease and insect resistant plants because these don’t require pesticides.
• Mulch your garden with a good 3- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch to hold in soil mois-ture and conserve water.
Speaking of water, in the West, 60% of consumed water goes to lawns. This water diversion harms the environment and returns polluted water to our streams and rivers. It also costs home-owners for irrigation system installations and maintenance, as well as in hefty water bills. Consider these tips:
• Soaker hoses and drip irrigation use 50% of what a sprinkler would use.
• Water early in the day so you can avoid evaporation and winds that blow water onto sidewalks and driveways.
• Mow your lawn at the highest setting on your mower. This encourages turf roots to grow deeper and be more tolerant of drought. Tall lawns also have fewer weeds because the seeds can’t compete with the grass for light and water.
Here are three resources for green gardening information, as well as help with finding the best plants for your yard and garden:
The Colorado Native Plant Society:
Xeric plants and tips:
Colorado demo gardens: