- What is the water outlook for 2014 for Colorado?
- When do I begin spring cleanup in the yard?
- When should I start planning my spring planting?
- When should I turn my sprinkler system back on?
- Should I water during dry winter months?
What is the water outlook for 2014 for Colorado?
Because of the great snow fall this year, currently Colorado has adequate water in the reservoirs, however, Mother Nature and wild fires could quickly change that. If the weather turns very hot and is accompanied by winds, landscapes may need more water. Wild fires may draw down on the water reserves as well.
So what can you do? Always use water, both indoors and out, appropriately and thoughtfully. For outdoors, check your landscape for the wetness of the soil before watering. Depending on the weather conditions it may not need to be watered as frequently. Remember to re-set your automatic sprinklers based on the time of year; water needs in April are very different from those in July. When putting in new plants group them with other plants with the same water needs. For indoor use, don’t run the water when brushing your teeth, install low flow shower heads and faucets, and use your dishwasher and washing machines when you have full loads.
Did you know? Colorado is one of only two states in the country with no water flowing into our state instead our water only flows out. The other is Hawaii. We should always be aware of how much water we are using; it is in fact a finite precious resource.
When do I begin spring cleanup in the yard?
Installing sod in February and March allows you to take advantage of natural precipitation and let the sod get established while the weather is cool.
When should I start planning my spring planting?
January, February and early March are great times to plan your flower gardens for the upcoming season. Research new varieties, draw your garden areas and decide where you need to make changes or improvements.
In late March plant sweet peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots and other similar plants indoors. See “Vegetables” in the "March Planting Tips" for more ideas of indoor starts.
In Colorado, spring weather can derail your plans, but if the weather cooperates, in April you can start to plant bare root perennials, and transplant daylilies, asters, and fall anemones. By mid- to late-May you can really begin your planting.
When should I turn my sprinkler system back on?
When the temperatures are consistently in the mid to upper 60 degree range and there is no natural precipitation, it is probably time to turn your system on. When you do start your system, consider upgrading it by adding rain or soil moisture sensors. They are cost effective and will not only save water but will save you money.
Remember to adjust your zone run times as the weather changes. The amount of water needed in the hottest months is much more than needed in the spring and fall.
Should I water during dry winter months?
If there has been no natural precipitation for a month and the temperatures are above normal for your area, any trees or shrubs planted within the last six to 12 months will benefit from getting some water. Apply just enough to saturate the soil down to 6-12” from the top of the soil. Hand water the plants or, to be water wise, use water from your shower or the dog’s watering bowl.
Using mulch around trees, shrubs (don’t “volcano” the mulch up the trunk) and perennials will help keep the soil moist and the roots cool. This not only conserves water but slows the plant from budding out if the weather is unseasonably warm.
Blue grass lawns are intended to go dormant in the winter months in our climate. Water only needs to be applied if the temperatures are very warm and there hasn’t been any natural precipitation and the lawn appears to be stressed. Apply water by hand or using a bucket to especially dry areas - next to curbs or sidewalks are the most likely areas to become stressed.