Get a head start on Spring
Plant now to give plants a head start next spring.
Late summer and early fall provide us with a great time to add plants in our yards. Most of the real heat of summer is behind us - or will be soon.Irrigation systems will still be watering for a couple more months to keep plants well-watered. And there is enough time left in the growing season to get plants established before winter sets in.
If you plant now, you're giving those plants a head-start on next season. When spring comes around, they'll be established and ready to take off and grow.
There are two steps in selecting plants for your yard.The first one involves finding plants that will grow in Colorado. Mother Nature gives plants a rough time here - and we need to choose plants that like growing at altitude and in our oftentimes harsh environment. We also need plants that have low water requirements.
A great reference tool you can find at garden centers, published Plant Select, is Pretty Tough Plants - 135 resilient, Water-Smart Choices for a Beautiful Garden. Experts from around the state have found, grown and tested these plants. They are resilient, and most are low-water users.
The second step for late-season planting involves following the same checklist you would do any time of year:
- Place plants according to the micro-environments within your landscape. Match plant needs to locations in the yard that provide sun or shade, good or poor drainage, shelter from buildings, etc.
- Know how large plants will be at maturity and avoid placing soon-to-be large plants too close together. Give them the space they need to grow without being overcrowded.
- Group plants with similar water requirements together so you can water them efficiently without over-watering some or under-watering others.
- Remember that even very low-water plants require regular drinks of water to become established. Make sure they get established before cutting back to little to no water.
- Place mulch around newly-planted trees, shrubs and perennials to help retain moisture.
- After the sprinkler system is winterized, check plants regularly and water as needed especially during times with little or no precipitation.