It’s been a wet beginning to the Summer here in the northern Colorado Front Range. As the summer fully sets, though, we’ll be seeing drier days and higher temperatures.
In March for World Water Conservation Day, we talked about some of the ways you can conserve water in your landscaping, including smart sprinklers and rain barrels. For this Summer, instead of changing how you water, consider what you water. Sometimes the most attractive landscaping elements will be the neediest and thirstiest. A change in your landscaping can refresh your curb appeal, while cutting down on your maintenance and water costs!
Consider updating your landscaping with these water-saving upgrades:
Native Plants Are Used to Colorado’s Weather Extremes
The hail we’ve received for the last month has been shredding the leaves and flowers on plants all over the Front Range. You may have noticed that many plants don’t recover fully from these storms, and some not at all. In many cases, these are non-native plants that have been brought to Colorado for their individual appeal: beautiful and unique leaves, sweet-smelling flowers, or other attractive qualities.
Grown out of their natural habitat, these transplants will have water and food needs that are not completely provided for by Colorado’s erratic weather. Throughout a year they will be either over- or under-watered, and require substantial maintenance.
Native plants have spent thousands of years and thousands of generations growing, budding, bolting, and spreading their seeds in Colorado. They’ve seen thousands of hailstorms and hundreds of floods and both early frosts and late ones. Put simply, they’re used to Colorado’s weather.
In your landscaping, native plants require less water, food, and maintenance. Switch to these species to conserve water and save on your utility bill.
Minimal Landscaping is Trending
Water crises for the last couple of decades caused a boom in xeriscaping, focused mostly on rock and stone-based landscaping. Truth be told, that’s just a sliver of what xeriscaped landscaping entails. At its essence, xeriscaping is about using as little water as possible. During xeriscaping’s boom, this meant lots of rocks and cactus.
In a high-plains desert area like the Colorado Front Range, there’s a lot more you can do with xeriscaping. Native grasses come in many shapes and sizes, and are low-maintenance, year-round landscaping elements.
You can even ditch the rocks. A new xeriscaping trend replaces a grassy lawn with thick mulch. This provides for uniformity in your yard, while acting as a weed-guard and retaining water for the plants that are in your landscaping.