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Archives for July 2015

Prepare for Planter Pots

Planter pots are a great amenity in most any landscape.  Whether it’s taking advantage of a small area or enriching a large area, planter pots offer a way to individualize your landscape.  Leaking Pot

 

It is not uncommon to think about adding your pots at the end of the project, but I encourage planning when it comes to this item.  The two primary goals of planning for your pots are; “get the water in automatically”, and “get the water out automatically”.  To get the water in I recommend drip irrigation coming up through the drain hole in the bottom of the pot.  It is also a good idea to consider a dedicated station on your irrigation clock as planters tend to need more water than plants in the ground.  Drip circle for container-photo

 

Getting the water out automatically can take some planning, but is well worth.  As you see in the photo above, this installation did not plan how to drain this planter pot.  Sadly this photo is from the new Transit Center at 30th and Pearl in Boulder.  The project is still under construction, and you can see they already have a problem on their hands.  This type of staining also can cause a slip hazard, which may leave a property owner liable if someone slips and falls.  holes for planter

 

So please continue to consider planter pots in your garden design, but don’t forget to plan ahead.

-Jim Haswell, Senior Landscape Designer

Water Conservation – By Volunteering or By Force?

Blackmore Rock Garden (large)

This turf-free Ecoscape design in south Boulder features native perennials, ornamental grasses, and very drought tolerant boulders.

Back in 2000 when Ecoscape got its start as a Boulder landscape company, we were in the height of our areas worst drought in over 300 years. We struggled but persevered doing what we love, installing landscapes that are appropriate for our region.

California has been experiencing their worst drought in many decades if not centuries. Last I checked their precipitation levels for 2015 were at around 5% of their normal rate. California in response has had to take drastic measures such as paying people to tear out their lawns. This attached link from today’s CNN Money outlines some of the great achievements being made in water conservation.

With our rain patterns these days here in Colorado, this type of extreme shift may not seem warranted. But you can realize a new lovely garden that uses 1/10th of your current water use on you lawns while creating an oasis in the process. We do live in a semi-arid desert after all.

-Bill Melvin

Smart Irrigation Month

Colorado Governor Hickenlooper declared that July is SMART IRRIGATION MONTH, but truthfully, it really begins when your system is activated in the spring, and continues through the final irrigation blow-out in the fall.  Strategies for being ‘smart’ range from managing your irrigation system to water-wise landscape design and cultural practices.

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While you may consider your irrigation controller to be a nebulous box mounted to your garage or basement wall, and may be tempted to ‘leave it to the professionals’,  there are some simple ‘smart irrigation’ practices you can do for starters:

  • Inspect your irrigation system monthly by walking around your property checking for leaks, broken or clogged sprinkler heads, and other problems. Lawn equipment, thirsty raccoons, or improper winterization can cause damage, so be on the lookout for problems and get them fixed quickly.
  • Learn the basics about your controller: know how to turn your sprinkler system off, and do so after appreciable rain events. Remember to turn it back on, or have a professional install a rain sensor that does it automatically.

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  • Adjust your controller timer to water in the early mornings when winds are calm and temperatures are cool to minimize evaporation (between 4am and 8am).
  • With July and August being the hottest months here in the Front Range, be sure to increase your irrigation cycle to account for increased water needs of your lawn and plants. Re-adjust settings as we head into September and October.

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At Ecoscape, we value the preciousness of water and believe that you can have a beautiful landscape that is also water-wise.  By adhering to smart irrigation practices and working with our professional landscape staff, you can be sure you are part of making things better!  Schedule an appointment with our irrigation specialist, Richard Matteson, who can inspect, evaluate, and make smart technology recommendations to improve your irrigation system and  teach you some basic operating guidelines.