Landscape Logic: Plan and plant a more sustainable garden | VailDaily.com

Landscape Logic: Plan and plant a more sustainable garden

As the weather warms up, it's time to get a jump on planting your veggies and flowers.
Special to the Daily

It’s too soon to plant the tender annual varieties — tomatoes, peppers, etc. But now is the time to prep and plan the garden you will soon enjoy. To make your garden even more sustainable this year, consider these tips:

Early, cool season crops include carrots, radishes, lettuce and spinach. Seeds can be planted as soon as the ground can be tilled. This can be done now along the Front Range in most locations and a little later in the High Country.

Grow more edibles than ornamentals. This means water is going to a more productive use.

When it’s warm enough to plant annuals, dress up veggies with companion flowers. Nasturtium isn’t only pretty in the soil. It is a beneficial companion plant you can also use to brighten a salad and add a slight peppery flavor. Marigolds help to deter pests. Using dual-purpose flowers such as these gives more bang for your buck when you buy them and also in the money you spend to water them.

Control weeds. They will suck up moisture your edibles need. Using mulch and keeping up on hand weeding means less water is needed.

Use containers with herbs to dress up the patio. Foliage-only containers are attractive and again, your time, expense and water to grow them is maximized by providing more than visual interest.

Productive landscapes promote a healthy lifestyle and are a responsible use of our resources. Start planning and planting as soon as you can.

Cherie Courtade is communication director of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, of which, Neils Lunceford is a member. Neils Lunceford Inc. can be reached at 970-468-0340 and atneilslunceford.com.