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Grow like a pro.

From high altitude gardening and Xeric landscaping on the plains to winterizing the roses, our expert contributors can help you have all the know-how to tackle everything in your Rocky Mountain landscape.



Ready, Set, Grow!

It didn't seem like spring would ever get here this year - the snow and cold just didn't want to let go.  It all adds up to good moisture for our landscapes...

For the Complete PDF click here.


Emerald Ash Borer: Destructive Tree Pest Detected in Colorado

An invasive insect responsible for the death or decline of tens of millions of ash trees in 21 states has been detected in Colorado for the first time. A suspect tree was spotted in Boulder County on September 23rd, 2013 by City of Boulder Forestry Staff.

For the complete Press Release, click here.

Looking for Emerald Ash Borer control options? Click here for an Insecticide Options for Protecting Ash Trees from Emerald Ash Borer bulletin compliments of The Cooperative Emerald Ash Borer Program.

For more information about Emerald Ash Borer, click here.


So what is Xeriscape???

Many people have the image of xeriscape (or "zeroscape" as they call it) in their minds as a landscape of rock. That rather sounds like a moonscape and nothing at all like what xeriscape really is.

The term xeriscape actually originated right here in Colorado. It basically describes a way of landscaping to both conserve and make better use of water. After having gone through a season or two of watering restrictions, you can appreciate the need for something like this here! 

For the complete PDF click here.


It's not Zeroscape, It's Xeriscape!

Many people not only mispronounce the word Xeriscape but also misunderstand exactly what it means imagining landscapes containing only rock and cactus.

Xeriscape (pronounced ZEER-i-scape) is derived from the Greek word 'Xeros' meaning 'dry.' Xeriscape stands for water conservation in landscaping. Xeriscapes are attractive, sustainable, and water-efficient landscapes based on seven basic and sound horticultural practices.

For the complete PDF click here.


Xeriscape is Not a Garden, It's a System

Denver Water coined the term Xeriscape in 1981 and with the help of plant and landscape experts, developed seven Xeriscape principles. Xeriscape is more than planting low-water plants, such as Yucca, landscaping with rocks or reducing the size of your lawn; it’s an entire system of principles that reduces water needs. Approaching Xeriscape as an entire system will help you create not only a water-wise yard, but also a beautiful and sustainable landscape. Some of the most attractive yards in Colorado were planned and planted using these seven principles of Xeriscape.

For the completed PDF click here.


High Altitude Gardening

Quite a few Coloradans make their homes at higher altitudes even than the Mile High City.  Life at 8,000' or 9,000' offers a unique opportunity to live in the foothills or mountains and commune with nature.  Snow is not unusual, though, even in June!  For the devoted gardener, the shorter season encountered at higher elevations can make gardening an ongoing challenge....

For the complete PDF click here.


When and How to Water Your Yard

Following these simple guidelines from plant and landscape experts can help you apply the right amount of water to your yard, at the right time, to keep your landscape healthy. While it’s important to follow restrictions if they apply, these tips can help you use water wisely every year, wet or dry.

For the completed PDF click here.


10 Steps to Wise Watering

  1. Water lawns and planting beds according to their needs.
  2. Know When to Water - Watering between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. is ideal; avoid watering in the heat of the day.
  3. Have brown spots - hand water spots to repair, check sprinkler system for coverage issues.
  4. Skip the watering on cool, cloudy days.
  5. Know Your Sprinkler System - upgrade or install for maximum efficiency.

For the complete PDF click here.


Plants vs. Pets: Who Wins?

Imagine you’re a dog, a young dog that loves to play. You have a big yard to romp around in, and there are those great areas with soft dirt for digging and wonderful plants to chew. Life is good - until “mom” comes running out of the house with broom in hand, and YOU are the target!

We love our pets and want to give them room to run, but we don’t appreciate everything they do. As a garden center manager, I’ve heard horror stories from customers about dogs who literally chew up shrub roses. Ouch! Not only that, some things we grow can be harmful or poisonous to pets causing illness, or even death, if ingested. While a high fence is the only sure cure, it’s best to avoid harmful plants when pets are prone to chewing.

For the complete PDF click here.


Post-Fire Planting

According to Mary Stromberger, a Soil and Crop Sciences Associate Professor at CSU, one major concern in planting after a major fire is soil nutrient levels. In fires where all vegetation has been killed and soil has been scorched a few inches deep nutrient levels may have been significantly depleted. The silver lining is that many Colorado native plants actually do better in soil that has a lower nutrient concentration. Homeowners interested in knowing the specific nutrient levels of their soil may send a sample to the Soil, Water, Plant Testing Laboratory at CSU for a full analysis.

For the complete PDF click here.


Help Your Yard Survive the Drought

Our yards provide an enjoyable place to relax and play, and represent a significant investment. Enhanced quality of life, environmental benefits and preserving property values make our landscapes worth protecting – especially in a drought year. It is possible to keep your yard healthy during a drought and still do your part to conserve water. Following are easy, practical tips provided by plant and landscape experts to help your yard survive the drought.

For the complete PDF click here.


How Your Sprinkler System Can Save Water and Money

During a drought, many Colorado communities enact mandatory or voluntary outdoor watering restrictions that limit watering to specific days during the week. Don’t feel compelled to water just because it’s your designated watering day. Over watering is wasteful and can actually harm plants.

Following these simple guidelines from plant and landscape experts can help you apply the right amount of water to your yard, at the right time, to keep your landscape healthy. While it’s important to follow restrictions if they apply, these tips can help you use water wisely every year, wet or dry.

For the complete PDF click here.


Water Conserving Tips for HOA's and Large Commerical Properties

The challenge of watering Homeowners Associations (HOAs) and other large commercial properties during a drought can be greatly reduced by using proven maintenance practices, integrating irrigation technology designed to water more efficiently and incorporating Xeriscape principles. Following are practical tips provided by landscape experts to help large properties keep landscapes healthy while using less water.

For the complete PDF click here.


Managing Pest Problems After the Floods

There are several pests of concern around structures after the recent floods: flies, cockroaches, nuisance invaders, mosquitoes, bedbugs, carpenter ants, wasps, molds & mildews, and rats & mice. 

For the complete PDF click here


How to Care for Flood-Damaged Lawns and Turf

Lawns that are covered by flood waters, even temporarily, may be subject to various types of damage. In general, most turf species will tolerate a few days of flooding without any negative effects. However, turf that remains flooded for more than a few days (especially when it is hot) can rapidly decline due to lack of oxygen and light. Substantial turf loss can be expected after 4 days of continued submersion. 

For the complete PDF click here


Fall is for Planting; Guidelines for Renewable Landscapes

Autumn is a perfect time for landscape renewal. Moderate temperatures and warm soils are beneficial for establishing trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs. There’s no better time to put in a new perennial border or to add additional shrubbery or trees to your landscape.  Here are a few steps for successful fall gardening.

When planting in Colorado, take the time to amend the soil with compost. Soil amendment improves the texture of clay soil and improves drainage and moisture retention in either clay or sandy soils. Another advantage for planting in the fall is autumn’s drier soil, which is less prone to compaction compared to soil in spring when the weather is wetter. 

For the complete PDF click here.


Plant Pansies for Fall Color

One of the prettiest things to see in the fall is the splash of color put on by pansies - right in the face of our oncoming freezing temperatures! Garden centers stock a good supply of pansies at this time of year, and for good reason - pansies do their best during the cooler months and struggle their way through the heat of summer.  It's our hot sun and higher temperatures that kills them rather than the cold of fall and winter. 


For the complete PDF click here.


Where's the Red????

The fall colors in Colorado are beautiful!  How can you beat the glowing gold of aspens set amongst evergreens with a clear Colorado blue sky above???

Many of us, however, come from other parts of the country where red is the color of fall - and you miss that here!  There are a number of trees and shrubs you can plant that will thrive in our soils, and still give you the red you long for.  Try a few of the following...

For the complete PDF click here.


Clean-up Time

Now that the growing season is finished, it's time to put our gardens to bed.  You probably just want to hang up the shovel and be done, but there's still work to do!

First of all let’s talk about the annuals.  Pull out all the dead plants and do away with them.  This includes both flowering plants such as your marigolds, petunias and geraniums, or veggies like tomatoes, peppers and beans.  If they didn't have any disease problems, add them to the compost pile.  If they did, the garbage can is waiting!

For the complete PDF click here.


CSU Extension and GreenCO Give Tips to Keep Trees Healthy this Winter

Without proper watering, dry winter weather could harm trees. Denver Water has teamed up with Colorado State University Extension and the Green Industries of Colorado (GreenCO) to remind homeowners to water trees to maintain optimal health and to avoid potential damage to these valuable shade providers.

For the complete PDF click here.


Living Christmas Trees

With the holidays coming, you may be thinking of a living tree this year and how nice it would be to stay REALLY green.  What better way to do that than a living, potted tree that can later be planted into the landscape?!

Nurseries are stocking them now - Colorado Blue Spruce, Austrian Pines, Dwarf Alberta Spruce - there are quite a few varieties available.  Talk to your nursery and be sure to get one that's right for where you plan to plant it.  A Dwarf Alberta Spruce is a cute little tree, but would never be happy in the hot western sun.  Likewise, an Austrian Pine would almost push the house out of the way if planted too close to the foundation!

For the complete PDF click here.


Wonderful Winter Weather!

It's hard to complain about winter when we have temperatures in the 50's, or even 60's, on a daily basis.  And snow???  It comes quickly and is usually gone just as quickly.  We may love it, but it's no picnic for our landscapes.

For the complete PDF Click here.


Plan Your Summer Garden Now!

Ok, it's winter, but now is the perfect time for planning what you'll do in your gardens next summer! 

For the complete PDF Click here.