The most important task that keeps your landscape healthy is proper watering. Over or underwatering can severely damage your landscape and raise the risk of landscape disease or replacement.
With Colorado’s unique climate, proper watering can be challenging. This is not only about making sure our landscapes get enough water but also making sure that we waste as little water as possible.
New Colorado Springs Water-Wise Rules to Conserve Water
There are some new water-wise rules that are in effect to help conserve water that may also impact how you care for your landscape. This water ordinance is based on some best practices that Timberline Landscaping has encouraged for many years. Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) asked local professionals (Timberline included) to provide input on the ordinance before it passed. If done properly, people are unlikely to see their landscape struggle at all.
Below you will find more details on this new water ordinance. Timberline’s experts also put their heads together to provide you with some ways that you can help reduce your water usage while keeping your landscape looking beautiful.
The Colorado Springs climate is semi-arid with water being a limited resource. The majority of our water is piped off the Continental divide from the Colorado River in Northern Colorado. These water-wise rules allow Coloradans to utilize water resources more efficiently as our population expands and weather conditions change.
The Ordinance Rules
The purpose of the ordinance is to encourage the wise and efficient use of water every day and has now taken effect as of May 1st, 2020. The water-wise rules are as follows:
- You can water up to three days during the week (you can select which days.)
- From May 1 to Oct. 15, sprinklers can NOT be running between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- You cannot let water pool on or flow over the ground.
- Leaking sprinkler systems must be repaired within 10 days.
- Be sure you use a hose with a shut-off nozzle for washing vehicles and equipment.
- Driveways or other hard surfaces should only be washed if there is a public safety concern.
Fines and fees associated with breaking these rules do not come into effect until 2021 but it will be important to get your landscape adjusted now.
Exceptions are available for newly planted landscapes (establishment permits) and smart controllers that water based off evapotranspiration (ET). These must be applied for through CSU website. For more details, visit CSU Water Wise Rules.
What you can do to Prepare and Conserve Water
Consider landscaping with Native Plants and Xeriscaping
Colorado native plants are excellent to landscape with to conserve water. Native plants are already well adapted to the dry Colorado climate so they typically require less water once established. They are also hardier and more adaptable to Colorado’s extremely variable weather, so plant replacement rates may be lower.
It’s important to get your native plants from a local nursery that can help you determine the best plants for your zone.
Xeriscaping is a type of landscaping that uses native plants, hardy plants, and low water plants together to create beautiful landscapes that are low-maintenance and low-water needs. We have a complete guide to xeriscaping which includes some of the benefits, plant types, and consideration for xeriscaping your property. Get the free guide here.
Utilize a Smart Irrigation Controller
Did you know that as much as 50% of water usage occurs outdoors for irrigation and a significant amount of this is wasted from runoff and evaporation?
Smart irrigation controllers are an excellent way to manage water usage and keep your landscape in pristine condition. Smart controllers have varying capabilities. We recommend getting a controller that does site-specific adjustments based on wind, weather, etc. to make sure you are making the most of your water. We offer a solution using Weathermatic irrigation controllers.
Smart controllers can help you adhere to water ordinances and limit water evaporation/runoff. Surprisingly, the number one cause of plant loss isn’t underwatering, it’s overwatering. Utilizing a smart controller can help you to water your plants the right way. Here are 5 benefits of smart irrigation controllers.
Utilize Artificial Turf/Decrease the Size of Your Lawn
Lawns take a significant amount of water to keep lush and healthy in Colorado Springs. A large lawn will require a lot of water but there are options if you’re looking to conserve more.
Artificial turf is growing in popularity as people enjoy the look of turf without the extra maintenance and water usage.
Another great way to reduce water usage is to decrease the size of your lawn. Removing a portion of your lawn and replacing it with hardy, native plants that have low water needs can do a lot not only for water conservation but the amount of time you spend maintaining your property.
These are some great ways to prepare your yard to thrive with the new water-wise rules. Need some help creating a low-maintenance, beautiful landscape that doesn’t require a lot of water. Contact us today!