3 Crucial Tips for Keeping Your Landscape Happy
You’ve just invested thousands of dollars into your landscape. How do you ensure its long-term success?
We Coloradans are increasingly taking pride in our environment, our state, and our homes. Yes, we’re set in the Rocky Mountains where the approach to landscape design is a bit more overgrown and organic as compared to ultra-pruned cities like Atlanta or Chicago, but we keep upping our standards.
After putting a sizable investment into your home’s curb appeal and the sanctuary of your outdoor spaces, you can’t just wash your hands and walk away.
Whether you spend $20,000 or $200,000, your landscape design and installation will look great the day it’s completed and even better in 3-5 years—that is, if things don’t perish first. Unfortunately, a gorgeous landscape can easily head south, sometimes so quickly that an untrained eye doesn’t catch catastrophe until it’s too late.
Many people believe that landscapes are simple: a tree, a patch of grass, a patio. But landscapes today are more complicated than ever before, especially here in beautiful Colorado. A variety of plants, hardscape surfaces, and irrigation systems—not to mention temperamental weather conditions—can create a plethora of challenges in landscapes young and old.
Much like any one of us, a landscape requires a delicate and customized recipe for health and happiness. So how are you going to ensure you don’t overlook the long-term success of your outdoor oasis? Here are three crucial concepts to become familiar with.
Irrigation in general is tricky; irrigation in Colorado is a science. Weather traits like constantly changing temperatures, lack of humidity, and too little (or too much) precipitation can pose a serious challenge in determining the right amount of water your landscape needs on any given day and in any given area of your landscape. To avoid the risk of losing your entire investment, consider a sophisticated irrigation controller. These automated “smart” systems utilize daily weather data and determine zone-by-zone adjustments—saving you and your landscape from a steep learning curve and, not to mention, a lot of headaches and time.
The clay-heavy soils native to Colorado lack the vital nutrients many landscape plants need to survive and flourish. To keep grass healthy and green, it is best to apply an organic-based fertilizer four times a year. Perennial layers and shrubs thrive on a slow-release granular fertilizer, best applied twice a year in the spring and fall seasons, keeping nutrition consistent and allowing the plants to flower, mature, and endure the heat of summer. When it comes to tree health, it’s imperative to work with a licensed professional arborist, as each tree demands specific care.
Even if you have irrigation and fertilization down pat, overlooking pest control can put your investment and maintenance to waste. There are a variety of pests and diseases that can wreak havoc on your landscape, from fungus in sod to mites on shrubbery. You’ll want to avoid dumping unnecessary chemicals into your landscape and introducing harmful substances into the environment. Instead, it’s best to have a knowledgeable team on hand to identify these issues quickly and take swift, informed action. By the time an amateur landscaper notices something wrong, it could already be too late. Schedule at least three visits with a professional on property to review your landscape’s health—in the spring, early summer, and late summer.
Eric Ball leads Maintenance Business Development at Lifescape Colorado, a Denver-based landscape architecture, construction, and maintenance firm. View their profile or reach one of Lifescape’s trusted professionals at 303-831-8310.
Content for this article provided by Lifescape Colorado.