While spring has officially arrived, the weather across most of Colorado is anything but spring-like.
Still, another weekend hibernating is a good chance to think about spring. Pull out the seed catalogs, go online and plan some projects.
Given the drought and water restrictions in the forecast for many areas, this year's planning needs to be more strategic and basic than ever. Getting back to the basics of keeping your yard healthy may seem about as exciting as buying new socks. But those functional basics are what keep us going. Get 'em done early in the season and then move on to your outdoor fashion statement.
Start with the sprinkler system. When water is scarce, sprinklers need to be at maximum efficiency so that the water you use and pay for benefits the plants that need it to stay healthy.
• If you've never had a professional audit of your system, then do it this year. Make the repairs that keep water from getting to your plants.
• And consider some water-efficient upgrades such as adding more drip irrigation in the process. Many water providers and cities will be offering rebates that can cut your costs for sprinkler upgrades.
Keep up with maintenance. Poor maintenance practices lead to compromised plants that will be susceptible to insect damage and diseases. If your plants are drought-stressed now, then their immune factor is already low.
• Clean out the winter plant debris that breeds these problems.
• Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs to promote natural growth and vigor.
• Follow best maintenance practices for the lawn by scheduling springtime aeration.
Grow healthy basics
There's nothing more satisfying than walking your just-picked veggies indoors and having them for dinner within an hour.
• For healthier veggies, rotate crops away from where they were placed last year.
• Grow some veggies in containers for improved water efficiency. Look for new seed varieties specially developed for containers.
• Install drip irrigation for more efficient watering that may also be exempt from water restrictions in many areas.
What's your fashion statement?
With socks folded neatly in the drawer, it's time to go for the bling. What would bring excitement to your outdoor experience this year?
Think about the projects that will get you and your family outside enjoying the outdoors:
• A new patio with a few amenities to enhance your outdoor cooking experience could mean a fresh place to gather.
• A firepit that naturally attracts teenagers (and lets you know where they are) might be strategic.
• A meditation area where you can decompress after work could make you healthier.
Becky Garber is member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970-468-0340.