Tag Archives: sustainable landscaping Colorado

Grow Brilliant Trees with Natural Mulch from the Yard

If your aim is to achieve better tree health and form, mulching is one of the best practices you can adopt.

What is Mulching?

The act of mulching involves placing materials over the soil surface to help reduce water loss, prevent erosion, and reduce weeds. Mulched trees are healthier and more resistant, and you’ll end up spending less time fighting common tree problems.

There are many different kinds of mulch with the two major types being organic and inorganic. Inorganic mulch is not recommended because it does not improve soil structure or provide nutrients. Organic mulch, on the other hand, improves soil quality and fertility and decomposes naturally. Wood chips, pine needles, hardwood, softwood bark, leaves, and compost mixes are all considered acceptable types of organic mulch.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Tips for Growing Brilliant Trees with Natural Mulch 

  • It’s crucial to forego laying down your organic mulch until the area has been fully rid of any lingering weeds. After weeding, make sure the layer of mulch is thick enough to prevent future growth.
  • You’ll need to replenish your mulch several times a year. This practice will help maintain the ideal 2 to 3 inch depth optimal for better mulch performance.
  • Don’t over-pile mulch against the trunks or stems of plants and trees. Doing so can stress the stem tissues and can lead to the development of disease, insect problems, and girdled roots. Also, if mulch is piled high on the trunks of young trees, rodents may inhabit the area and chew away the bark of the tree.
  • If finer mulch is blanketed too thickly, the penetration of water and air may be reduced.
  • Specific plants will benefit from different kinds of mulch, so do your research before choosing a mulch.

    Source: Pixabay

    Source: Pixabay

Improper mulching materials and practices can result in damage done to your property. Always remember not to go overboard with mulching, as too much can be harmful to your trees. However, with proper methods, the health and value of your trees will skyrocket!

Do you need some guidance with growing brilliant trees on your landscape? Contact Lifescape Colorado today to schedule a consultation.

Eco-Friendly Pest Control with Integrated Pest Management

A new movement in pest control is eliminating the need for pesticides and insecticides. Integrated Pest Management is a method of preventing pests through planning, maintaining, and employing only natural or low-toxicity controls. Instead of chemical-ridden products, this pest management system yields healthy plants without compromising human, animal, and environmental health and safety.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Blanket applications of pesticides and insecticides may be a quick-fix when it comes to killing and warding off bugs, but they are also the cause of some disturbing side effects. The toxic chemicals found in these one-dimensional, broad-spectrum solutions contaminate the environment, build up pest resistance, and destroy beneficial pests.

Integrated Pest Management involves heedful planning, smart garden design, and proper maintenance. Gardeners that adopt these effective and comprehensive techniques from the beginning can enjoy lush, beautiful gardens that are working with the environment instead of against it.

  • IPM begins with choosing plants that are pest-resistant and that are best-suited for the region and climate.
  • Position plants to give them the pest opportunity to thrive. This means thinking about the exact conditions they need and the location in the garden that can provide them.
  • Phase two of IPM involves caring for plants carefully by weeding, pruning, and ensuring the right amounts of sun, water, and fertilizer. The healthier the plant, the less susceptible to pests and infectious diseases.
  • Learn your insects. Know which types are destructive and which feed on harmful insects for natural pest management. If you spot intruders, try picking them off plants by hand first and pruning any damaged areas.
  • If you need more natural enemies such as mantids and ladybugs, purchase and release them in the garden.
  • Provide habitats for these beneficial insects and encourage their re-breeding by incorporating a variety of flowering plants.
  • If pest problems still arise, consider spot-treating with natural pesticides such as soaps or oils that are known to treat the particular pest identified to be an issue. Be sure to read all labels and understand what plants can tolerate what natural insecticides.

    Source: Pixabay

    Source: Pixabay

Contact Lifescape in Colorado to discuss an IPM system will ensure a gorgeous and prosperous landscape.

Water Without Waste: Harvest Rainwater for Gardens

What are you doing to harvest the rainwater and snow melt from your landscape? If you’re like most homeowners, the answer is, “What? We can harvest that?” Sure you can. Every little bit of water you save from rainwater and snow melt is less water you have to extract from Colorado’s precious groundwater reserves.

Rainwater Harvesting for Landscapes Preserves Colorado’s Water Reserves

Rainwater harvesting is about as simple as it can get. In a nutshell, all you need is a gutter and downspout system large enough to handle the water runoff from your roof, barrels to catch the runoff, and a spigot/hose to get water from the barrels into hoses or irrigation materials that will direct the harvested water to your plants.

Gutters and downspouts. If you have an older home, you may want to refurbish or replace the gutters and downspouts, so they collect every drop they possibly can. For the average roof, gutters need to be at least 5-inches in diameter, and downspouts should have a diameter of at least 3-inches. Larger homes should consider even larger models.

Screens. You will want to place a screen or mesh system at the location where the gutters meet the downspouts to keep the largest leaves, twigs and debris from getting into your barrels. If you get much mosquito action during the warmer months, you’ll want to use finer mesh screens to keep mosquito larvae out of your barrel. Old window screens work perfectly for this.

Barrels with spouts. You can purchase barrels made specifically for collecting water. We have also seen clients recycle full wine barrels for this purpose. If you opt to re-purpose a barrel of some kind, make sure you’ve thoroughly cleaned/treated the interior surfaces, so any residual chemicals won’t leach into the water and into your landscape. You certainly don’t want to negatively impact soil, plant, or animal life. Ideally, barrels will be placed in an area that is close to your targeted irrigation spots. Read more about setting up your barrel system.

Finally, do yourself, and the planet, a favor by implementing a xeriscape.

Working towards a drought-tolerant design, combined with smart rainwater harvesting for your landscape, can mean never spending another penny for municipal water. Wouldn’t that be a treat? Interested in implementing a rainwater harvesting system for your Rocky Mountain landscape? Contact Lifescape Colorado.

Proper Shrub Maintenance for Colorado Gardens

Shrubs are not only sustainable options for a healthy garden, but they also add long-term beauty to Colorado landscapes. However, without proper maintenance, even the hardiest of shrubs may succumb to disease. To keep your shrubs healthy and beautiful for many years to come, consider the following garden maintenance tips below.

landscape maintenance denver

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Young or newly planted shrubs require regular watering until they’re fully established. This helps them form a strong root system, vital to health and longevity. Native shrubs are better adapted to our drought-prone climate. Nevertheless, these low-maintenance plants still need to be watered. Many newly planted shrubs require a thorough soaking at least once a week throughout the growing season. You should continue watering through the fall until the ground freezes, especially your evergreen shrubs.

denver landscaping service

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses to water the soil throughout the root zone. Overhead watering is more wasteful, and sometimes water left on foliage leads to sun scorching. Soil amendments and fertilizer should be applied according to the needs of each specific type of shrub. If you don’t know your soil’s pH level, have it tested and amend it as necessary for your shrubs. Some shrubs prefer more acidity than others do.

xeriscape denver

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Pruning is important for aesthetic reasons, as well as for shrub health. Avoid pruning haphazardly or at the wrong time. Shrubs that flower in early spring can be pruned as soon as they stop blooming. If you prune too early, your shrubs might produce fewer blooms. Shrubs that bloom in the summer should not be pruned until winter after they’ve become dormant or in very early spring before you see them greening.

denver xeriscape

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Both new and established shrubs will thrive better if you remove old, damaged or diseased branches so healthier branches can receive more airflow and sunlight. You should also remove branches that are tangled or are rubbing against other branches.

Good shrub maintenance takes some time and effort. If you’d rather leave the hard work to our experts at Lifescape Colorado, just contact us today, and we’ll get started. We offer a variety of garden and landscape services that can keep your shrubs looking healthy and beautiful.

Colorado Landscaping Tips

While the summer solstice has passed us by, our state’s magnificent wildlife continues to abound. There are still a couple more months before the weather shifts into fall and winter mode. You can use this opportunity to design and execute a few ideas percolating in your visions lately while keeping your Rocky Mountain location in mind.

colorado landscaping services

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Colorado Landscaping: Design by Geography

Where you live in Colorado plays a large part in your landscape’s design and function. The wrong layout will result in struggling vegetation, an unreasonable demand for water and using excessive amounts of energy and labor to make things work. On the flip-side, an intelligent landscape design will yield an attractive outdoor palate with relatively minimal effort on your part.

colorado landscaping service

Design by Lifescape Colorado

The Great Plains. Normally, we think of the Great Plains as “out east.” In truth, 40% of our state is comprised of the same geography that stretches from Colorado’s eastern region through Kansas, Iowa and Oklahoma. Temperature fluctuations are vast, water is minimal and a high-mineral content produces alkaline soil. Fortunately, drought-tolerant plants do well here and the arid climate keeps pests and diseases at a minimum.

Rustic Landscape by Denver Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Lifescape Colorado.

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Postcard Colorado. Otherwise known as the Front Range, this is the region of our state that comes to mind for most of the U.S. It’s a landscape filled with steep mountain slopes, white aspens and lots of snow. As a result, landscaping in the front range requires an experienced hand. Working with a landscape designer and maintenance team will help you determine which plants will thrive the best in our climate.

xeriscaping service in denver

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Out West. From plains and mountains, we move down into the desert where xeriscapes are a must. Without a xeriscape approach, desert landscaping requires large quantities of irrigation. Stick with plants that do well in exceptionally dry climates and keep in mind that broad-leafed trees and shrubs will require irrigation.

Contact Lifescape Colorado to design a geo-centric plan for your landscape today.