What should you be doing in the yard and garden this month? It’s a perpetual question of Colorado gardeners. How do you write a reliable to-do list for Colorado gardens when we can see three seasons in a single weekend — or in a single half-day drive? It might be spring in Fort Collins, still winter in Aspen, and already summer in Pueblo. Even the rule of thumb “Never put your plants out for good until after Mother’s Day,” can stand to be played by ear from year to year.
It’s usually best to take seasonal lists as a guide, not a rule, and remember that we can swing from snow-covered to too hot and too dry in a couple of weeks. (And then swing right back.) Generally, care for cool-season lawns and treat for weeds in spring and fall; trim fruit trees anytime before the weather warms; plant water-wise selections at all times; and care for your soil, which in Colorado, isn’t the world’s richest as a matter of geography, year-round.
Here are two handy infographics:
Confused about your USDA Hardiness Zone for planting purposes? Here’s a handy map:
Once you’ve determined your general zone, you can use this guideline to determine relative safe planting dates:
for most of us along the Front Range, Mother’s Day is a pretty safe bet – but just in case, don’t forget to mulch young and tender shrubs and trees. Also, tree and bush spraying will control insects and pestsSee tips on effective mulching at Colorado Master Gardener’s garden notes.