It’s no secret that the weather in the Pikes Peak region is unpredictable. If you haven’t yet put away your winter sweaters, you’re aware this spring has been cooler and wetter than normal. It can be tempting to forget about your landscape now that summer vacations are around the corner. However, giving your yard some extra attention will help it transition successfully into the heat of mid-summer. Here are four tips to get you started:
1. Watch the weather and water accordingly. As temperatures increase and the sun comes out, make sure you increase the number of days you water your landscape. It’s easy to quickly get behind on watering, which, before you know it, can cause wilting, drought stress and brown spots. If you were watering less often this spring, now is the time to monitor the forecast and change your irrigation schedule as your plants’ water needs increase. Watering consistently (up to three days per week) is one of the best ways to grow a healthy lawn and landscape. Consider installing a smart controller or reviewing this fact sheet to learn more.
2. Mow your lawn when it’s dry. In Colorado, we’re lucky that most lawn insects and diseases don’t thrive here due to the low humidity. However, the lawn fungus known as Ascochyta leaf blight shows up when the weather changes rapidly from cool and wet to hot and dry conditions. The good news is that Ascochyta is easy to prevent. Simply mow your lawn when it’s dry so the fungal spores aren’t spread by your mower. Also, water your lawn consistently as the weather warms up to prevent drought stress. Drought-stressed lawns are more susceptible to Ascochyta infection.
3. Make sure your rain sensor is working. Rain sensors are simple devices that add on to your existing sprinkler system controller. They prevent your sprinklers from running when it rains. Residents that have rain sensors have saved a lot of money on their water bill this spring. If you don’t have one, consider adding either a wired or wireless rain sensor to your sprinkler system. Colorado Springs Utilities offers a fantastic rebate, which can help offset the cost of purchasing one.
4. Stop by the Water Wise Demonstration Garden. June is a great month to plant trees, shrubs and flowers. If you’re looking for inspiration, the Demonstration Garden located at the Conservation and Environmental Center, 2855 Mesa Rd., can be a helpful place to find attractive plant combinations and see plants at their mature size. Because of the cool weather this year, many species are blooming longer than normal. Pay us a visit during daylight hours to see the amazing flower display!
By putting a little extra effort into your landscape now, you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor all summer long.