Summer Garden Chores

Summer Garden Chores

Garden chores for the month of June
The glory of Colorado summers begin in June. Landscape plantings explode with new growth and start to reward us with color and beauty. Here are few tips to help keep your landscape colorful and healthy.

  • Fertilize lawn.
  • Check all trees and shrubs for insect pests
  • Continue mowing operations.
  • Feed roses.
  • Dead head annuals.
  • Remove weeds.
  • Inspect sprinkler system operation, adjust timing as needed.

July is the month when landscape color pops with the intensity of a fireworks display. Here are few reminders to help you maintain the brilliant colors in your landscape.

  • Check for lawn fungi.
  • Prune shrubs after flowering.
  • Continue mowing operations.
  • Cut back bulb foliage when it starts to yellow.
  • Dead head annuals and perennials.
  • Remove weeds.
  • Inspect sprinkler system operation, adjust timing as needed.

August is the hottest month of the year, but our summer afternoon storms help to keep us cool as we work out in the yard. Here are a few reminders to help keep you keep your landscape beautiful and healthy.

  • Continue mowing operations.
  • Dead head annuals and perennials.
  • Inspect sprinkler system operation, adjust timing as needed.

Weed Control
A weed is considered any plant that grows where it isn’t wanted. Weed control is probably the most tedious of all tasks that must be kept up in order to maintain a garden. It also may be the most important task because it eradicates invasive plants that steal nutrients and water from the plants that are purposely planted.

Fortunately, there are a few steps that can be taken to help prevent a lot of weeds from germinating. For example, applying wood mulch at the recommended depth of 3” prevents the sun from penetrating weed seeds. Weeds that inevitably germinate should be pulled before they go to seed so that they can’t spread; plus, it’s much easier to pull weeds when they’re young and tender.

Make sure to pull the whole weed including the root so that it won’t come back. There are various garden tools that can be used to make weeding more efficient. The use of herbicides should be limited to times when the weeds are excessive.

The Necessity of Watering Your Plants & Grass In Winter

The Necessity of Watering Your Plants & Grass In Winter

Colorado has some of the most stunning landscape in the country and is a popular place to visit year round. But Colorado’s winter weather is very dry, which can be the real reason behind damage to the landscape rather than the cold itself, which is why continuing to water your plants in the winter is essential. Dry air and winter winds can remove water from plants and trees, and when the ground freezes, any underground water turns to ice crystals that cannot be absorbed by plant roots. Water acts as an insulator for root systems, protecting them from damage during colder temperatures. 

How much water is enough?

When it comes to fall and winter watering of your plants of grass, Colorado State University has some expert guidance for homeowners and plant lovers regarding the necessity of winter watering. Because the combination of dry air, low precipitation, little soil moisture, and fluctuating temperatures are typical in many areas of Colorado, it is often necessary to provide additional soil moisture from October through March to keep plant and tree root systems healthy and thriving, especially during times of little to no snow cover. Trees, shrubs, perennials and lawns may suffer damage during fall and winter if they do not receive supplemental water. Here are some quick tips from the CSU Extension program on when to water your plants and landscape:

  • To give your plant adequate soil moisture as they head into winter, water plants when the leaves begin to fall in the autumn.
  • Water trees, shrubs, lawns, and perennials during prolonged dry fall and winter periods to prevent root damage that affects the health of the entire plant.
  • Water only when air and soil temperatures are above 40 degrees F with no snow cover.
  • Apply water at mid-day so it will have time to soak in before possible freezing at night.
  • Established large trees have a root spread equal to or greater than the height of the tree.
  • Apply water to the most critical part of the root zone within the drip line.
  • Plants receiving reflected heat from buildings, walls and fences are more subject to damage. The low angle of winter sun makes this more likely on south or west exposures.
  • Windy sites result in faster drying of sod and plants and require additional water.
  • Lawns in warm exposures are prone to late winter mite damage. Water is the best treatment to prevent turf injury.

Following these guidelines of watering your plants during winter season can help ensure your landscape remains healthy and beautiful throughout Colorado’s colder months.

Spring Lawn Care Tips

Spring Lawn Care Tips

As we work our way into spring, are you thinking ahead to the maintenance of your landscape? Now is the time to begin your landscape clean up and prepare your lawn and garden for spring time. Fredell Enterprises has a few Spring lawn care tips for you!

Although Colorado offers late season skiing into April or even May for some lucky locations, the Colorado Springs area averages a daily maximum temperature for March that’s between 50 and 57°F, with the minimum temperature usually falling between 26 and 32°F. The month of March is when Colorado Springs days start to warm up noticeably, and gardeners can be seen readying their beds for planting. In this article, we’ll cover a list of items that should be on every Colorado homeowner’s spring landscape clean up list.

Mulching

One step in spring lawn care that helps Colorado gardens grow best is mulching around plant beds. Mulch helps keep the weeds at bay and helps the soil retain warmth and water, which means less watering for you and better conditions for your plants. Whether you use wood or rock mulch, March is a good time to check for early weed growth by removing any debris, dirt, fallen leaves, or other organic matter from your mulch beds. A simple hand-held blower is a great way to clean up your plant beds, and new weeds can be easily removed by hand. Over time, your wood mulch will diminish due to wind and weather, so be prepared to replace about one third of it every three years or so. A depth of three to four inches is sufficient; any less will leave the ground too exposed to adverse conditions, any more and you may restrict the flow of oxygen to plant roots.

Watering and irrigation systems.

We hope you’ve been watering your plants during the winter months. Winter watering is critical to minimizing stress on plants and will reduce futile attempts to revitalize dead plants in the spring. Watering deeply and infrequently encourages deep root growth, which expands your plants’ ability to find the water and nutrients they need. This helps reduce the amount of supplemental water and fertilizer your plants need. If you have an irrigation system in place, perform an audit at the beginning of each season and adjust accordingly to ensure efficiency.

  • Ensure that heads are spraying in the correct direction
  • Check head filters
  • Sod should have complete head to head coverage

Another lawn care tip for Spring is to adjust your irrigation to current weather conditions, and water during the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. once the threat of frost is gone but avoid watering under windy conditions. You won’t need to water on days when it has rained more than ¼ inch. If you don’t have an irrigation system yet, call Fredell Enterprise at 719-630-1355. We have proudly served the Pikes Peak Region and surrounding areas along the Front Range including Woodland Park and the I-25 corridor for over three decades, providing top quality service for all budgets. We are a local, family owned and operated firm that offers top quality, full service landscape architecture, design, and construction for Colorado homeowners.

Lawn care.

An aerated lawn is a healthy lawn. Aerating allows for better water, air, and fertilizer absorption. If you didn’t core-aerate your lawn last fall, it can still be done now as weather permits. Another useful lawn care tip: when mowing, use sharp blades set at the highest setting to help shield the soil from the sun and retain moisture better. Using dull mower blades will make ragged cuts that turn the tips off your grass brown, which can trigger the incorrect response of watering more. Brown spots should be watered by hand rather than watering the entire lawn with the irrigation system. When fertilizing, consider reducing the application rate of nitrogen, as it creates lush, fast growth, which uses more water. March is a good month to cut back any ornamental grasses to a height of 2–3 inches and trim away dead or damaged branches from shrubs and trees. If your landscape includes flowering perennials, trim them to a height of 4–5 inches to allow new growth to emerge.

Water features.

Water features are a beautiful, natural addition to any garden or outdoor living space. Whether you opt for a waterfall, pond, stream, bird bath, or fountain, the sound of water adds a relaxing and pleasant element to your landscape, especially in the dry Colorado climate. Winter storms may have left debris in your water feature, and extreme cold may have caused cracks or damage in hard surfaces. Clean out any debris present and check for damage winter may have left behind. You may need to add water due to evaporation or splash loss, and March is a great time to check any pumps to ensure they remain in good working order.

Mulching

Mulching

There are many ambiguities when it comes to gardening; plants that thrive, synthetic versus organic fertilizers, wildlife deterrents, etc. However, one certainty you can count on is that mulch is good for all gardens. Not only is mulch aesthetically pleasing, but it also has several practical benefits.

One of the primary benefits of mulch installation is that it retains moisture, and thus, reduces the amount of supplemental irrigation needed. It helps control soil erosion by softening the impact of rainwater. It also improves soil quality via decomposition. One benefit that gardeners especially like is that it helps to control weeds. With all these benefits it’s no wonder why mulching is so popular!

Mulch comes in many different colors and textures so that it is easy to find one that will suit the needs of most landscapes. The type of mulch that should be used depends on the color desired and the amount of wind on site.

Many ask when is a good time to mulch, and luckily it can be done any time of the year and should be reapplied every two to three years to make up for the loss due to decomposition and wind. Typically, only 1/3 of the original amount needs to be added. It is generally recommended that the mulch be applied 3” thick. If it is too thin it might lead to weed issues and not hold in moisture very well. If it is too thick it might not let enough light and water pass through for optimal plant growth. When applied properly, mulching has many practical benefits.

Fall Yard Maintenance

Fall Yard Maintenance

Although September still gives us plenty of beauty in the landscape, fall is just around the corner and the end of the gardening season in near. Here are a few landscape tips to help you head into autumn.

  • Fertilize lawn.
  • Overseed bare or thin spots in lawn.
  • Continue mowing operations.
  • Dead head annuals and perennials.
  • Divide overgrown perennials and ornamental grasses.
  • Inspect sprinkler system operation, adjust timing as needed.

The end of October is the finish line for the gardening season. This is the time to rake leaves, shut down the irrigation, and rake the planting beds. Here’s a few checklist items to help you through this process.

  • Follow temporary draining instructions for sprinkler system (page 9), as temperatures dictate.
  • Clean off tops of dried perennials.
  • Plant spring-blooming bulbs.
  • Adjust staking of new trees.
  • Dead head annuals and perennials.
  • Rake leaves (if not cleaned up, fallen leaves can be harmful to sod and often can harbor insects and diseases harmful to plants).
  • Reduce watering times on sprinkler zones.

November is the time to put your garden to rest for the winter by mulching beds and wrapping trees. Here’s a few checklist items for garden chores of the month to help you.

  • Mulch roses and tender perennials.
  • Rake leaves
  • Cut back perennials to 2-3” from the ground.
  • Wrap trees, especially aspens in deer areas.
  • Drain (blow out) sprinkler system.
  • Remove annuals.

Irrigation Shutdown

Each fall, before the first hard freeze, sprinkler systems are “blown out.” This happens in regions where frost in the ground reaches below the depth of the irrigation pipes. In Colorado Springs, blowouts are usually done in October and November.

It’s convenient to delay the irrigation shut down as long as possible so that you limit the amount of time that you have to water by hand. When the night temperatures start dropping below freezing, but the hard freezes haven’t quite yet set in, it is important to temporarily drain your system. This removes most of the water from the back flow preventer so that it doesn’t freeze, expand, and break. However, it doesn’t remove the water from the underground pipes, which is only done during the blowout with an air compressor.