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Defying the Droughts

Defying the Droughts

Droughts can be a huge issue here in Colorado, for more reasons than one. Despite getting a lot of snow and rain this past winter and spring, the soil here is hardy and nutrient-deficient, leading to a lot of planting issues- even with native species.

colorado river droughts

Due to the expansive Colorado River, our droughts here can spread to other parts of the United States without enough water. And when other lakes and reservoirs are already drying out, relocating water can be challenging when there just isn’t enough to keep these ecosystems viable. 

Without the proper nutrients in the soil, trees, and plants hardly stand a chance against the harsh temperatures of the sun in the various elevations of the southwest.

We’re sure you’ve probably seen the desiccation- or the drying out- of local trees in the area, but due to the drought conditions going back twenty years, this is now happening all over the southwest. The Colorado River is important for not just the environment in our Denver area, but also to the millions of people who depend on the water flowing from it.

Colorado Public Radio’s podcast ‘Parched’ talks about the ways the US is in a water crisis due to the lack of water in the Colorado River and how it’s a front line of climate change due to its vast reach across multiple states and regions, particularly as it’s being used to fill Lake Mead. So even with the amount of precipitation we’ve received lately, it’ll take a bit more than just waiting for more rain to fill up the rivers and lakes that provide so much life.

Sustainability Despite Droughts

While ArborScape has treatment options to assist your plants and make your yard lush and healthy, there are other options to ensure life around droughts. And as practicers of sustainability, we’re always exploring new opportunities to work with the environment we have, not the one we wish we did.

So while we offer winter watering and fertilization treatments to keep your yard in amazing condition, there are ways to keep your yard looking gorgeous without needing to utilize as much water.

One option, in particular, is transitioning your yard from a grass lawn to a new turf that requires less water. Governor Polis signed a bill into action that allows many Coloradans to do away with old, outdated HOA regulations so as to help conserve water. A lot of HOA regulations used to be pretty strict, but now, thanks to SB23-178, these guidelines now can’t prohibit the following:

  • Prohibit the use of nonvegetative turf grass in the backyard of a property
  • Unreasonably require the use of hardscape on more than 20% of the landscaping area of a property
  • Prevent a homeowner from choosing an option that consists of at least 80% drought-tolerant plantings
  • Prohibit vegetable gardens in the front, back, or side yard of a unit owner’s property

This is a fantastic pathway toward continuous sustainability, but there’s always more to do on a communal and personal level. For instance, if you don’t want to go through all the trouble of clearing out your yard for a rock turf, there are still other options to preserve your yard. 

Laying mulch offers a great protective barrier to prevent evaporation of water from the soil, and watering early in the morning when temperatures are cooler can help the plant absorb the water better. While you’ll want to water less frequently, it should be a bit more thoroughly. And make sure you’re watering the soil rather than the leaves, that way the roots can take hold of the moisture and nutrients in the soil and spread it internally rather than externally.

ArborScape is dedicated to continuously finding new paths toward sustainability, so don’t hesitate to give us a call or check out our website to see how we can help you find better options to care for your yard in any and every condition that Denver’s irregular weather brings.

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