Xeriscape Principles - Castle Pines North, Douglas County, Colorado


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Xeriscape Principles - Castle Pines North, Douglas County, Colorado

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Xeriscape Principles - Castle Pines North, Douglas County, Colorado

  1. 1. Xeriscape PrinciplesHarriette Einolf – Douglas County Master Gardener Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 1 Gardener
  2. 2. COLORADO GARDENING CHALLENGES • Low humidity • Drying winds • Extreme, fluctuating temperatures • Heavy clay soils Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 2 Gardener
  3. 3. Xeriscape• Originally coined by a special task force of – Denver Water Department – Colorado State University – Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado• Derived from the Greek word “xeros”, meaning dry and landscaping: xeriscape• Describes landscaping with water conservation as a major objective Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 3 Gardener
  4. 4. Xeriscape vs Zeroscape Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 4 Gardener
  5. 5. 7 Principles of Xeriscape1. Develop landscape plan that integrates irrigation and maintenance2. Reduce turf and high water use areas3. Sensible approach to soil amendments4. Select appropriate plants for the site5. Mulch the soil to reduce evaporation6. Irrigate efficiently7. Set up maintenance to use resources efficiently Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 5 Gardener
  6. 6. 1. Develop a landscape plan • Prevailing winds • Sun and shade areas • Slope orientation • Wet and dry spots • Existing trees, shrubs, flower beds Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 6 Gardener
  7. 7. 1. Landscape Plan: Site Exposure SOUTH • Warmer, drier • Extreme temperature changes • Longer growing season • Spring frost danger Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 7 Gardener
  8. 8. 1. Landscape Plan: Site Exposure NORTH • Cooler • Year round shade • Less extreme temperature changes • Persistent snow cover • Good for marginally hardy plants Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 8 Gardener
  9. 9. 1. Landscape Plan: Site Exposure EAST • Morning sun throughout the year • Afternoon shade • Protected from winter winds • Moderate temperatures Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 9 Gardener
  10. 10. 1. Landscape Plan: Site Exposure WEST • Big temperature swings • Late Fall and early Spring frost damage • NW cold winds intensify damage Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 10 Gardener
  11. 11. 1. Landscape Plan: Irrigation • Minimize high water use areas • Eliminate/minimize planting in difficult areas to water • Group plants with similar water needs, cultural requirements • Tailor watering to plants’ needs, site, exposure and season Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 11 Gardener
  12. 12. 1. Landscape Plan: Water Zones HIGH - 1 ½” average per week • Kentucky Blue Grass • Maple, Birch, Willow, Annuals MODERATE- ¾” Average/week • Some perennials • Honey Locust, Bur Oak LOW - 1” average per MONTH • Blue Grama grass • Gambel Oak, Sumac Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 12 Gardener
  13. 13. 2. Reducing Turf and High Water Use Areas Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 13 Gardener
  14. 14. 2. Turf or NOT ?• Play areas for tots, pets • Sloping areas• Provides unity to design • Areas narrower• Prevents erosion than 8 feet• Reduces heat reflection • Irregularly shaped• Harvests water areas, corners• Recharges groundwater • Areas along fence • Areas under trees and shrubs Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 14 Gardener
  15. 15. 2. High Water vs Low Water Turf Kentucky Blue Grass Blue Grama Grass• 35-56” annual water • 12-18” annual water• 20” annual for survival • No irrigation when• Sun or light shade established• Moist, well-drained soil • Sun• Mow height 3” • Sand or clay soil• Unmowed height • Mow height 3-5” 4” to 36” • Unmowed height 12” to 18” Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 16 Gardener
  16. 16. 2. Turf Alternatives: Turkish Veronica • Full sun or light shade • Good drainage needed • Evergreen • Mid-Spring bloom • Ground hugging mat • Light foot traffic • Attractive year round Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 17 Gardener
  17. 17. 2. Turf Alternatives: Wooly Thyme • Full sun or dry shade • Dry, well-drained clay soil • Low to moderate water • Blooms in Spring • Low foot traffic Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 18 Gardener
  18. 18. 2. Turf Alternatives: Persicaria Affinus • Sun to light shade • Tolerates poor soil • Low water • Late summer bloom • Copper red Fall color • 6” foliage - 10” flowers • No foot traffic Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 19 Gardener
  19. 19. 3. Sensible Approach to Soil Amendments Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 20 Gardener
  20. 20. Paths to Soil Improvement• Improve soil by adding amendments• Paths direct foot traffic• Preserve and protect the soil by mulching• Select plants best suited to existing soil Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 21 Gardener
  21. 21. 3. SOIL: Soil Amendments Benefits• Increase water and nutrient-holding capacity• Improve soil aeration• Some act as fertilizers• Some increase soil organic content• Many different kinds• CSU Fact Sheet 7.214 Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 22 Gardener
  22. 22. 3. Clay Soil• Small pore spaces• Drains slowly• Alkaline PH• Prone to compaction• Repels surface water• High water retention• Don’t work clay soil when wet! Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 23 Gardener
  23. 23. 3. Planting Trees in Clay Soil• Do NOT amend the soil!• Dig shallow, wide hole – so that top of root ball sits 2-4” above soil line – 2 to 5 times as wide as the diameter of the pot• Do not disturb the soil at the bottom of the hole; apply water and let it soak in• Place the root ball in the hole, and return loosened soil around the tree• Water regularly until tree is established Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 24 Gardener
  24. 24. 3. Improving the Soil: Exceptions• Many native plants like native soil• In improved soils: – Plants lose xeric characteristics – May not bloom – Won’t thrive Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 25 Gardener
  25. 25. 4. Selecting Appropriate Plants Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 26 Gardener
  26. 26. 4. Plant Selection• Does the site meet the plant’s needs?• What is the plant’s mature size?• Does the site allow for its mature size?• Is the plant available and affordable?• Check CSU Fact Sheets for xeric choices Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 27 Gardener
  27. 27. 4. Plant SelectCriteria for Selected Plants plantselect.org• Grows well here • Plant Lists• Adapts to challenging • Downloadable designs climates • Demonstration Gardens• Good pest resistance • Extensive search• Long season of beauty• Non-invasive plants• Caution: not all are xeric Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 28 Gardener
  28. 28. Plant Select GrassesGiant Sacaton Korean Feather Grass Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 29 Gardener
  29. 29. Plant Select: PerennialsSonoran Sunset Hyssop Red Feathers EchiumSunset Hyssop Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 30 Gardener
  30. 30. Plant Select: Ground Covers Wine Cups Panchito Manzanita Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 31 Gardener
  31. 31. Xeric Plants • Regular watering a must the first year to get established • Don’t plant in wet spots • After planting, water slowly but thoroughly • Mulch after planting to retain moistureHarriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 32 Gardener
  32. 32. 5. Benefits of Mulching• Retains water in soil• Insulates soil from extremes of heat and cold• Controls erosion• Prevents or minimizes weeds• Reduces maintenance Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 33 Gardener
  33. 33. 5. Organic Mulches• Shredded bark, Cedar mulch• Wood chips, chunk bark• Chipper debris• Compost• Leaves• Lawn clippings• CSU Fact Sheet 7.214 Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 34 Gardener
  34. 34. 5. Inorganic Mulches• Pea gravel• Squeegee and crusher fines• Gravel, river rock• Crushed stone• Decomposed granite• Woven landscape fabrics• Black Plastic Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 35 Gardener
  35. 35. 6. Irrigate efficiently and employ sound watering practices Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 36 Gardener
  36. 36. 6. Types of Irrigation• Automatic sprinkler systems• Drip Irrigation• Soaker Hoses• Hand watering Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 37 Gardener
  37. 37. 7. Maintain your landscape• Weeding• Deadheading• Pruning• Sucker Removal• Disease and Pest Management• Irrigation System Maintenance Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 38 Gardener
  38. 38. 7. Maintain Your Landscape: Weeding• Weekly Garden/Weed Walk• Weed the day after rain• Using Glysophate (Roundup) – Kills actively growing plants – 24 hours needed to penetrate roots – Works best in 70 to 90 daytime temperatures – Read label carefully – Spray away from storm drains and creeks Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 39 Gardener
  39. 39. 7. Deadheading• Clip dead flowers before they go to seed• Cut just above leaf node• Focuses plant’s energy on foliage and flowers• Saves weeding time• Improves beauty of garden Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 41 Gardener
  40. 40. 7. Pruning and Removing Suckers Pruning• Late winter/early Spring is best time• Prune dead branches• Prune branches that rub together• Prune outside tree trunk collar• ext.colostate.edu/index.html – Search on Pruning Removing Suckers• Remove suckers ASAP• Suckers sap energy from other tree growth• Enhances beauty of tree Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 42 Gardener
  41. 41. 7. Irrigation System Management• Critical for water conservation• Don’t rely on automatic timers• Check your sprinkler system weekly• Replace broken sprinkler heads and drips• Install a moisture sensor: up to $100 rebate! Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 43 Gardener
  42. 42. 7. Setting Your Irrigation System• Best time to water plants – Cycles start after 5AM and finish by 10AM – Cycles start after 7PM and finish by 10PM• Soak and Cycle for lawns and slopes – Determine total amount of time needed – Total time number of cycles = cycle time – Set 2 or 3 cycles for the cycle time – Allow 30 to 60 minutes between cycles Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 44 Gardener
  43. 43. 7. Set Your Irrigation System: Lawns• Best time to water lawns – Start cycles after 10PM and finish by 6AM• For Kentucky Blue Grass – May and Sept: 1 inch per week – June: 1¼ inch per week – July and August: 1½ inch per week – October: ½ inch per week• Water deeply and infrequently• Soak and Cycle for deep penetration• CSU Fact Sheet: Watering Established Lawns Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 45 Gardener
  44. 44. 7. Watering Tips for Conservation• Plant early in morning• Transplant plants in Spring• Focus water on plant roots• Reduce the need for lawn fertilizers by proper mowing and grass recycling – 3 inch length for Kentucky Blue Grass – Mow to 2 inches• Aerate lawns in Spring Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 46 Gardener
  45. 45. 7. Aerating Lawns in Clay Soil• Spring is best• Soil cores should be 4 to 6” deep• Core aeration adds air and improves water absorption and soil quality Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 47 Gardener
  46. 46. 7. Dealing with Drought• Don’t fertilize or prune when water is scarce• Don’t apply pesticides• Hold back water early in season so plants need less water during the hottest months• Kentucky Blue grass may go dormant: it may turn brown but is not dead• Restrict traffic on dormant turf to avoid damage Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 48 Gardener
  47. 47. 7 Principles of Xeriscape1. Develop landscape plan that integrates irrigation and maintenance2. Reduce turf and high water use areas3. Sensible approach to soil amendments4. Select appropriate plants for the site5. Mulch the soil to reduce evaporation6. Irrigate efficiently7. Set up maintenance to use resources efficiently Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 49 Gardener
  48. 48. Resources• CSU Extension: ext.colostate.edu/index.html – Fact Sheets and PlantTalk• Douglas County Extension Office – Hot Line for Residents with Questions – 720-733-6935 – Mon-Fri 8AM-4PM April through September• Plant Select – http://plantselect.org/ Harriette Einolf-Douglas County Master 50 Gardener