Xeriscape Colorado Springs, CO

Transforming Your Lawn: A Step-by-Step Guide to Xeriscaping in Colorado

Transforming Your Lawn: A Step-by-Step Guide to Xeriscaping in Colorado

Introduction: In the face of increasing dry and hot summers in Colorado, the term “xeriscape” has gained prominence as a solution to water conservation. With the goal of aiding homeowners in transitioning from water-intensive grass lawns to sustainable xeric gardens, we’ve compiled a straightforward guide to help you embark on your xeriscaping journey in Colorado.

Step 1: Assess and Zone Your Yard for Sun and Water Needs Understanding your property is key before diving into a xeriscape project. Familiarize yourself with the land and its characteristics by observing the sunlight and moisture distribution throughout the day. Utilize grid paper to create a map of distinct zones based on sun exposure and water requirements. These zones, known as “hydrozones,” will play a vital role in planning your xeric garden. High-water use areas are designated for herbs, vegetables, and any existing grass. The transition zone bridges the gap between high and low water use, while the low-water use zone serves as the foundation for your xeric garden design.

Step 2: Discover Drought-Tolerant Plants for Colorado Before investing in plants, it’s crucial to select those that thrive in Colorado’s unique climate. Factors such as soil type and local conditions are vital considerations. Research the ideal drought-tolerant species for your specific area, considering rocky, fast-draining soil in foothill regions and clay soil on the Front Range. Consult resources like the Garden in a Box collections or curated lists of drought-tolerant plants for Colorado.

Step 3: Remove Your Grass Lawn The transition from a grass lawn to a xeric garden might seem daunting, but it’s a crucial step toward sustainability. Various methods can be employed to remove the grass:

  • Physical Removal: Employ tools like rototillers or shovels for smaller areas without irrigation systems, reducing the risk of damage.
  • Solar Heat Method: Trim your lawn short, water it, and cover it with clear plastic for six weeks. The sun’s heat will kill the grass, which can then be left in place as a natural compost.
  • Sheet Mulching: A time-consuming but effective technique involving layers of cardboard, compost, and organic mulch. Over time, these layers break down, creating rich soil for planting.

Step 4: Planting, Mulching, and Adding Hardscape With the grass gone, it’s time to bring your xeric garden vision to life:

  • Plant Spacing: Plant drought-tolerant species 18-24 inches apart, allowing for proper growth.
  • Fertilization: Use organic fertilizers and compost to encourage root development and plant resilience.
  • Watering Strategy: Water deeply and infrequently to promote deep root growth and drought resistance.
  • Mulching: Choose gravel, rock, or organic mulch for different plant needs.
  • Hardscape Options: While hardscape elements like pathways and boulders enhance the garden, they’re not obligatory for a stunning xeric space.

Conclusion: Transforming your grass lawn into a water-wise xeric garden is a fulfilling endeavor that benefits both your property and the environment. With this step-by-step guide in hand, you’re well-equipped to embark on your xeriscaping journey and create a beautiful, sustainable oasis in the midst of Colorado’s changing climate.

1 thought on “Xeriscape”

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