Forward to Summer
to get your planters filled with flowers? Contact
me to get your spring planting
May 14 (weather permitting). Don't be tempted to set out any of your
too soon! The average last frost-free date in northern Colorado is May
check-list of yard work to do now:
- Fertilize your plants. When plants and
trees wake up from their winter nap, they are hungry! Scratch
2" - 3" of well-aged compost into the soil around your plants.
- Core aerate your lawn. Aerating decreases
thatch and encourages root growth. You can rent a core aerator from the
equipment rental store or hire it out.
- Fertilize the lawn. Using a granular fertilizer
on your lawn in the spring encourages strong, thick growth which chokes
out weeds and needs less water later in the season.
- Divide fall-blooming perennials and
- Cut back ornamental grasses at the base of the
- Plant cool season vegetables such as
broccoli, carrots, lettuce, peas and radishes directly in the
"I always wanted to have flowers on the deck, but I knew from
experience I couldn't take care of them and keep them alive.
Stephanie's automatic drip irrigation system was so intriguing I had to
give it a try. Now my deck is beautiful all season long!"
join me for lunch with the Fort Collins Business Women's Network on
Tuesday, May 1 at 11:15. I will be making a presentation during lunch:
"Fact or Fiction? Debunking Landscaping Myths." Is it true you can make
a bomb with fertilizer? Is Colorado soil iron-rich or iron-poor? Come
and here the truth about these myths and more! For more information and
to RSVP, check the BWNFC website.
Irrigation and "The Control Freak"
It sounds down-right derogatory, but I'm afraid
it's true... I'm a "control freak" in my garden! I have a very low
tolerance for weeds, spent flowers are quickly removed and if a plant
out-grows it's designated space it gets pruned back or removed
I'm also very controlling about the water use in my yard and you should
be too -- water is a precious commodity here in Colorado! A drip
irrigation system is well suited to the Control Freak because it is
efficient, effective and versatile.
Issue: Efficiency. By design, drip irrigation
waters right at the soil surface. Therefore, no water is lost to
over-spray onto the driveway or sidewalk. Water doesn't blow away on a
windy day nor evaporate on a sunny day. A drip irrigation system
targets the water directly on the roots of the plants. Space between
plants is not watered - this is especially helpful for controlling
weeds between shrubs. Much less water is wasted in a drip irrigation
system compared to sprayers.
Issue: Effectiveness. The soil along the Front Range is
generally described as "heavy clay." While the clay can be
challenging to the
gardener, it is also what makes this area livable at all -- if our soil
was sandy it would be like the Sahara Desert.A rarely mentioned benefit
of our heavy clay soil
is that it retains the water for days when it is well soaked. Drip
irrigation provides a
slow, steady precipitation rate. This allows our clay soil to absorb
more of the water with less run-off. The slow, steady water provided by
a drip irrigation system moves water throughout the entire root zone,
down deep into the soil where it will be available to
the plants for much longer than if you watered lightly with
Issue: Versatility. The interchangeable components of a
drip irrigation system are adaptable to many different situations.
Whether you are watering an ornamental grass border, a perennial flower
bed or the container gardens on your deck, drip irrigation is very
flexible. Pieces can be added and removed with ease and the watering
rates can be varied so that one plant receives more or less water than
its neighbor depending on individual plants' needs. The versatility of
drip irrigation is my favorite part! I am even guilty of changing
pieces mid-season just to see if it will work better.
While drip irrigation is efficient, effective and versatile, I
can't recommend removing your entire lawn to lay down drip irrigation
lines beneath the sod. However, if you have a shrub border or flower
bed you'd like to convert to drip irrigation, it may be much easier
than you think. Of course, the convince of an automatic watering
(especially on your container gardens) can't be beat!
me to discuss the specific situation where drip irrigation
could be useful to you. Get control over your water use!
tel: (970) 988-3808