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As the leader in the Green Industry, we provide exceptional landscape services to quality-focused commercial property owners and managers in the Northern Colorado community. We work together as a friendly team who values integrity and provides open, honest communication in every aspect of our work. Everything we do is done to benefit our customers, employees, vendors and the community.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Water Strategies for April and into May

Recent heavy snows have gotten us off the hook for watering our lawns for awhile. 


Still, the growing season and watering restrictions are just around the corner. Here are early-season watering tips:

• You won't need to water until well into May, depending on the amount of precipitation in your area and the weather. Check plants that get a lot of sun and don't water until the soil starts to dry out. If a screwdriver inserts easily into the soil, don't water yet.

• Don't water just because you can - it's OK to skip your watering day. Spring is when the grass roots need to be trained to grow deep in search of water - over-watering only makes the roots lazy and less drought-hardy.

• Know what kinds of sprinkler heads you have on your system and set the timer to water accordingly.

With the weekend warm-up, this is a good time to get to know your sprinkler system better than ever. If you can only water twice a week, you need to make it count by knowing your water delivery system well.

In one minute of time, different kinds of sprinklers will put out different amounts of water. If you don't know the difference between one that quickly puts down 2-3 gallons a minute and the one that emits only a half gallon, you will over water and waste water. Or, you will under-water and stress your plants.

Know basic difference among these three common types of sprinklers before you set the timer.

Spray heads - emit the most water over one area in the shortest time. They spray one area continuously (they don't turn). In one minute, they emit 2-3 gallons of water and it all falls within one small area. Running
these heads too long will give the soil more water than it can drink in and you'll have water running down the street.


• Rotor heads - oscillate back and forth. Because they're constantly moving across the lawn, it takes more time to water the lawn thoroughly. This is why you need to set the timer to run longer in the areas with rotor heads.

• Drip emitters - not for lawns - but the most efficient way to water veggies, flowers, shrubs and trees. Small tubes on top of the soil emit water very slowly, but very efficiently because no water is lost in the wind and there's little evaporation. Areas watered with drip need a much longer operating time. In many areas, drip irrigation is exempt from the twice-per-week watering restriction for annual flowers and veggies. That's another plus for drip.

Cycle and soak is the best way to water

Rather than setting the timer to water each part of the landscape only one time on your designated day, water each area more than once, but for a shorter amount of time in each cycle. Scheduling multiples cycles, but with shorter times in each cycle, allows the water to settle into the soil and provides more thorough watering. That's an efficient use of water and it keeps more water in the soil where the plants can use it.


Tip of the Week reprinted courtesy of Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) of which Foothills Landscape Maintenance, LLC is a member. ALCC is the only only professional organization for Colorado's landscape contracting industry statewide. Tip of the Week is copyrighted by Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and may be forwarded or copied by its members provided proper credit is given to ALCC

Monday, April 1, 2013

Are Water Restrictions in your Forecast?

How much should you water in April?


Statewide, the drought has property owners concerned about keeping their plants alive.
Already, watering restrictions along the lines of two watering days per week are the rule for many cities along the Front Range - stretching from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. In the mountains, watering is allowed three days per week in the Vail Valley, but that could change.

What does this mean for property owners?
For starters, remember that it's only April and we need to take one month at a time. How we handle watering restrictions in April is going to be different than in the heat of July. Getting your lawns and landscapes off to the right start is what you should do in April.

Don't water just because you can.
It's tempting to grab all the water you can when you can, but that's being a water hoarder. In April, especially, that strategy can do more harm than good if we get regular precip. Normally, April is cool and we usually get moisture.

If there's natural moisture, you probably won't need to water twice per week. Instead, do what's best for the lawn and if the soil is dry, give the lawn a good soak. Then skip watering the next 2 or 3 days you're allowed to water. Springtime is when we need to encourage grass roots to grow deep and that's exactly what soaking the soil with long intervals between watering does.

Frequent watering on the other hand, keeps roots near the top of the soil where they will dry out more quickly. In the heat of the summer, those shallow roots will be screaming for water they can't have and the lawn will show it.

Aerate the lawn.
After a spring rain or a good soak from the sprinkler on your watering day, aerate the lawn with a core aerating machine. Aeration is a best management practice and for good reason. The holes caused by aeration open up the soil so it can take in the moisture and nutrients that keep lawns healthy.

Control crabgrass.
CSU's experts recommends pre-emergent weed control for crabgrass this year because this is one weed that likes drier conditions. Apply the control the day before a day when you will water.

Love your trees.
Trees are your biggest landscape investment, so make them a priority. Trees cost more to buy and plant than any other plants in the landscape - and they actually increase in value over time. It's easy to replace some dead lawn, but you can't go to the nursery to buy a 30 ft maple tree if the one in your back yard dies. And it will take a long time to re-grow the thousands of dollars in property value that tree represents. Trees planted in the lawn areas will get water each time you water the lawn, but trees not in the turf will need supplemental water.



Tip of the Week reprinted courtesy of Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) of which Foothills Landscape Maintenance, LLC is a member. ALCC is the only only professional organization for Colorado's landscape contracting industry statewide. Tip of the Week is copyrighted by Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and may be forwarded or copied by its members provided proper credit is given to ALCC