Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How much water do you use on your lawn?

 Photo by Linda Langelo

This information is based on research and provided to inform people and raise awareness.  I hope that it encourages everyone including homeowners, lawn maintenance services and landscapers to be more aware of how much water is used.  In times of significant drought, I would hope that we would aim to be conservative with our resources and therefore better stewards of the earth for future generations. 

When considering how much water you use on your lawn, it is based on the type of grass you plant. The following is a breakdown based on three main types of grasses:

Kentucky Bluegrass:  1/2" every third day

over 5,000 square feet = 1,500 gal/watering = 18,500 gal/month

Turf-type tall fescue: 1/2" twice/week

over 5,000 square feet = 1,500 gal/watering = 12,500 gal/month

Buffalo grass: 1/2" every 2 weeks

over 5,000 square feet = 1,500 gal/watering = 3,000 gal/month

These figures are from Denver Water published in 2003. The above picture is a lawn established with buffalo grass taken by the area horticulturist.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Favorite Fall Perennial

Here it is at the end of October and we have fall color of blue flowers along with its striking bronze-red foliage. A great herbaceous perennial with a common name of Leadwort which grows to 6 to 10 inches tall with a phlox-like flower and spreads to cover a foot to a foot and a half of area. Its botanical name is Ceratostigma plumbaginoides. This perennial tolerates clay soil, but it will not tolerate continuous wet soils that are not well-drained. It is truely low maintenance. You will not need to deadhead the flowers or cut the stems back to the ground. What could be more ideal? It grows in zones five through nine. It is not a native since its country of origin is China. An ideal location will be in a sunny to partly sunny area. The picture was taken in such a location. The area receives morning sun and by two o'clock in the afternoon this perennial is in shade. In the spring this perennial is late to leaf-out. You might think it is dead and then it springs to life. This plant would do well under trees that allow the plant to receive afternoon shade. It helps with erosion control and would do well on slopes. It will be beneficial to grow in rock gardens and in your herbaceous border amongst bulbs. Give this perennial a try.   Above photo taken by Linda Langelo.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Crocus, Fall Color

Photo by Linda Langelo

Crocus speciosus 'Oxonian' with its deep violet blue flowers and darker veins will add some rich color to your garden. Just when you think everything is finished flowering. There are a number of different species that will bloom from September into December. They need to be planted in a protected area with some sun and some shade and a light covering of mulch. The Crocus speciosus 'Oxonian' grows in zones 4-9. Enjoy the color.