Tag Archives: sustainable landscaping Colorado

Practical Water Saving Ideas with a Water Wise Fountain

Even with water restrictions and water conservation efforts, it is still possible to enjoy a beautiful water fountain in your yard. Here are some practical water saving ideas for a water wise fountain:

Practical Water Saving Ideas with a Water Wise Fountain

Source: Lifescape Colorado

  • Install your water fountain, especially those with long, shallow pools, in a shady area to minimize evaporation, as warm water evaporates quicker than cool water.
  • Decrease wind evaporation with strategically placed plants and fences or barriers around the water feature.
  • If you can choose a water feature that cascades down rather than sprays up, do so. This will help conserve water by minimizing evaporation.

Some other practical water wise tips for fountains include:

  • Minimize surface area of the fountain as well as splash and overspray from fountains to decrease evaporation.
  • Choose a bubbling fountain, which can recirculate water as it flows down the sides of the vessel.
  • Install a fountain such that it waters surrounding plants.
  • Place permeable plants and materials around fountains so water can be absorbed into the ground.
  • Supply your fountains with runoff or recycled water.
  • Place a decorative rain barrel under a set of rain chains to create a “fountain” from the water collected.

Let’s say you already have a water fountain installed on your property, and you’re looking for ways to make it conserve more water without replacing it. Some options include adjusting the spray to no higher than four inches, decreasing water levels to reduce splash, only turning fountains on at certain times such as when you are entertaining, and being sure there are no cracks or leaks in your fountain.

How do you conserve water in your landscape? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Maintain Landscapes Naturally & Efficiently with Greenscaping

If you want your lawn to reflect your clean lifestyle, greenscaping is the way to go. Knowing where to start, however, is another matter entirely. Each year, American homeowners spend countless hours every year mowing, raking, clipping, and landscaping. Just by trying to keep our landscapes and property values up to par, we create an unnerving amount of waste.

Additionally, yard waste contributes to already overflowing landfills known to produce methane gas and carbon dioxide, harmful gasses associated with climate change. You can take charge of your own environmental impacts by greenscaping — grasscycling, mulching, and composting. Not only can you better your environment, but you can save money in the process!

Grasscycling

Grasscycling is an incredibly simple way to reduce yard waste. All it entails is mowing your grass to no lower than 2 to 3 inches tall. Then, you leave the grass clippings where they fall and allow them to naturally decompose. Healthy grass shouldn’t be cut more than an inch, and because grass clippings are composed of 90 percent water, they will decompose and return nutrients to the soil quickly. One study has also suggested that grasscycling takes up to 38 percent less time than conventional mowing.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Mulching

Organic mulch made from chipped or shredded wood waste and dried leaves can greatly benefit your landscape. Mulching is the act of spreading thin layers of organic waste around plants and trees to help retain water, reduce weed growth, regulate soil temperatures, and constantly add nutrients back to the soil. As we discussed earlier, grass clippings make for excellent mulch. Another recycling idea is to donate unwanted plants to local schools, churches, and charities.

Composting

Composting turns ordinary yard waste into a natural soil additive that your soil will soak in like a sponge. Compost allows soil to better absorb air and resist erosion. You can create your own compost pile right in the backyard! To get started, just throw in food scraps, fruit peals, manure, grass clippings, and leaves.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Lifescape Colorado is dedicated to helping you make your landscaping dreams come true. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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.