Water. It’s the new buzzword. Drought is arguably the worst word known to gardeners. According to this week’s US Drought Monitor, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas are getting drier by the day. As of April 26, 2022, 45.4% of the United States and 54.2% of the lower 48 states were under drought conditions.
What does this mean for our community? Water restrictions are in place from May 1 to October 15. You can water with sprinkler systems up to three days a week (you choose the days). Water before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. Hand watering trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and vegetable gardens can be done any day.
Don’t let water pool on hard surfaces or run down gutters. Repair leaking sprinkler systems within 10 days. Use a shut-off nozzle when using a hose. Clean hard surfaces (such as driveways and sidewalks) with water only if there is a public health and safety concern. If you are found in violation, you could be fined up to $100.
Tips for keeping lawns healthy during a drought.
Use your mower’s highest setting to promote healthy root growth. Mow frequently enough to remove only a third of the blade of grass to avoid stress (once or twice a week). Let the clippings recycle on the lawn rather than packing them up. This provides nutrients. Keep a sharp mower blade for a clean cut. Mow when the grass is dry to avoid disease.
Aerate the pit once or twice a year in spring and/or fall to provide oxygen to the soil and promote deeper roots. Remember to water 24-48 hours before aerating to promote deeper core removal.
Fertilize in mid spring, early fall and late fall to maintain consistent growth throughout the year. Use a fertilizer with nitrogen; traditional and organic types work. Avoid weed and feed formulas.
Tips for keeping other plants healthy during a drought.
Due to the high intensity of the Colorado sun, low humidity, extreme temperatures, windy conditions and harsh soil characteristics, it can be difficult to cultivate and maintain a healthy landscape even in the absence of favorable weather conditions. drought. Do not water when it is raining or windy. Water trees and shrubs deeply and infrequently; this will increase the plant’s tolerance to drought.
Go ahead and plan for the future.
Choose native, drought-tolerant plants. Drought-tolerant plants need regular watering until they are established. Recognize the water needs of the plants in your landscape and use only the water they need. To conserve water, spread mulch 1 to 2 inches deep on the soil surface between and around plants to reduce water evaporation and prevent weeds.
Implementing long-standing water management principles is one way to use water responsibly and efficiently for the benefit of all. Healthy plants provide better air quality, lower our energy costs, and provide shelter and food for wildlife.