Rainfall in Colorado varies across the state and fluctuates by year. During dry periods, irrigation may be needed to preserve landscape quality. Over- or under-irrigating a landscape can possibly increase disease incidence, waste water, and decrease overall landscape condition. Irrigation system efficiency is dependent upon several factors including design, installation, and specific site conditions. Traditional irrigation controllers run on a preset programmed schedule, set to water daily, weekly, etc., regardless of the current weather.
Water applied to a landscape can account for a significant portion of a property’s water use. A substantial amount of water is lost to evaporation, wind, and runoff due to improper watering methods. Reducing or eliminating this loss decreases water bills and creates a more water efficient, healthy landscape.
Outdoor water savings can be achieved using smart irrigation technologies. Smart irrigation controllers and sensors have been developed to reduce outdoor water use by irrigating based on individual plant and turf water needs. Smart irrigation technology uses weather data or soil moisture data to determine the irrigation needs of the landscape. This technology exists as a complete controller or as a sensor that can be added to an existing irrigation timer to create a smart controller.
Smart irrigation technology includes:
These products maximize irrigation efficiency by reducing water waste, while maintaining plant health and quality. Incorporating smart irrigation technology in the landscape can potentially reduce outdoor water consumption. This technology is appropriate for small, residential landscapes as well as large, managed landscapes. Irrigation managers and homeowners should be aware that smart irrigation technology will need to be periodically adjusted and maintained for maximum water savings. Many new smart controllers can be managed from a smart phone or managed by the company that has developed the unit by way of a subscription plan.
WaterSense, a voluntary partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is both a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping you save water. Learn more HERE.
Part of what we do is try to give back just a bit! We feel very fortunate for the gifts and blessings in our lives and know that others often have struggles we can't always relate to.
We've been contributing time/energy to Mt. St. Vincent on their annual work day for over 20 years. Here are a few pictures from last week's event - JLS took on removing old rose gardens and getting them replaced with sod. Other local companies took part by also helping tackle a list of improvements throughout the campus. We're proud that JLS and our industry is taking the time to make a difference!
Spring has finally arrived and seems to be sticking around! Everyone is ready to plant! One of the most frequent questions we are asked is "what can I plant that is deer and rabbit resistant?"
As we know, wild animals are just that - wild! There are no guarantees as to what they might like to sample on a given day. Often, they pluck a plant from the ground or planter, just to decide it tastes terrible, and then spit it out.
But- with some determination, vigilance, a bit of trial and error, and ALOT of patience - you CAN create a lovely landscape.
Here is a list of plants (all perennials) that are most likely to provide success:
Snow Drop Anemone
Silver Mound Sage
Japanese Painted Fern
Basket of Gold
Black Eyed Susan
Periwinkle - Vinca
Hummingbird Flower (Zauschneria)
Creeping Oregon Grape Holly
Engleman Ivy (Virginia Creeper)
As a reminder - some of these are toxic - wild animals leave them alone for that reason. Your domestic pets may not have the same wisdom, so please do your research to keep them safe if they like to eat vegetation.
Happy Earth Day! Today is the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. The very first one was on April 22, 1970.
Earth Day is meant to increase awareness of environmental issues and problems. It has become a popular time for many communities to gather to clean up litter, plant trees and gardens, etc..
Each year is a new theme, and this year is "Restore Our Earth."
Here are some things you can do to participate - today and every day:
1. Clean up plastic and trash in your neighborhood. Or pick a park in your community to clean up. Don't forget to recycle plastic that you pick up!
2. Plant a tree. They capture carbon, they cool overheated places, they support pollinators. They bring in insect and bird species. Look HERE for suggestions as to the best tree to plant in your area.
3. Plan a native garden bed. Here in Colorado, it's a bit early to plant, but planning is the first (and FUN!) step. Consult your local nursery or look HERE if you need suggestions for native plants that do well in your area.
4. Support our pollinators! Select plants that attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, etc. Many are native plants, that are also deer resistant. You could also make a bee house! See how by clicking HERE.
5. Water wisely.
After this past weekends storm, it's hard to believe. And we probably still have another round or two of snow to get past. But it will get here, and we all know what that means - lawn care! SO just for fun, I thought I'd share a little bit about "The History of Lawn Care" for you to enjoy. Click below:
DID YOU KNOW?
JLS is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified!
LEED is a green building certification program used worldwide. It was developed by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and it includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods which aims to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.
The other exciting news is that Colorado is one of the TOP 10 states for LEED green buildings!
If you'd like to read more about the program, you can do so here:
DID YOU KNOW?!
A flower can actually win a GOLD MEDAL! It's rare that any flower variety takes a gold, but one magical specimen was just awarded it after 17 years of no winners. AND it won in America and France! Profusion zinnias are wonderful and amazing if you want to plant a mass of color that lasts all season - perfect for large areas and commercial beds that need the drive-by pop!
Our friends at Lawn and Landscape Magazine shared this fun article about this little pretty:
It's winter! But where is the snow? Not a whole lot has fallen yet this year, which means not much moisture for our trees and shrubs. They depend on us to help them out.
This is just a reminder that it's very important to water those plants that need it, even in winter. Basic guidelines are to do it on a warm, sunny day (50s), as early in the day as possible. Water slowly, so that it has time to be absorbed into the ground. Remember to drain and unhook your hose from the spigot when done!
For more comprehensive and detailed information, here is a great article from the folks at CSU:
In Colorado, opportunities for winter fun are numerous. We want to take just a moment of your time to remind everyone to dress appropriately for the weather, and pay attention to your body and what it is telling you. Whether you are playing or working in the cold, remember that hypothermia is a very dangerous medical condition that requires immediate attention. Here is some info to help you recognize the symptoms, along with basic first aid measures you can take to help yourself or a co-worker, friend family member:
Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperature is around 98.6 F (37 C). Hypothermia (hi-poe-THUR-me-uh) occurs as your body temperature falls below 95 F (35 C).
When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system and other organs can't work normally. Left untreated, hypothermia can lead to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system and eventually to death.
Signs and symptoms of hypothermia include:
• Slurred speech or mumbling
• Slow, shallow breathing
• Weak pulse
• Clumsiness or lack of coordination
• Drowsiness or very low energy
• Confusion or memory loss
• Loss of consciousness
Someone with hypothermia usually isn't aware of his or her condition because the symptoms often begin gradually. Also, the confused thinking associated with hypothermia prevents self-awareness. The confused thinking can also lead to risk-taking behavior.
WHAT TO DO:
• Call for help
• Remove any wet clothes, hats, gloves, shoes, and socks.
• Protect the person against wind, drafts, and further heat loss with warm, dry clothes and blankets.
• Move gently to a warm, dry shelter as soon as possible.
• Begin rewarming the person with extra clothing. Use warm blankets. Other helpful items for warming are: an electric blanket to the torso area and hot packs and heating pad on the torso, armpits, neck, and groin; however, these can cause burns to the skin. Use your own body heat if nothing else is available.
• Take the person's temperature if a thermometer is available.
• Offer warm liquids, but avoid alcohol and caffeine, which speed up heat loss. Don't try to give fluids to an unconscious person.
Colorado is known for dramatic temperature swings, hard freezes, and often dry conditions.
Gardening can be a challenge!
It is also becoming increasingly important to consider our ecosystem and be mindful of water use. More and more we move into neighborhoods that were once habitats for wildlife. Deer, rabbits, coyotes, birds, bears, etc. have been displaced or are trying to live alongside us. Pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds need our help to thrive.
Non-native plant selections require more resources to survive and often struggle in our somewhat harsh environment. More water, more fertilizer, more herbicides are rarely the solution to a thriving and responsible landscape. Educating ourselves and choosing our plants/shrubs/trees wisely is a more likely way to succeed and create a landscape you will be proud of and love to care for.
A wonderful resource for choosing native trees and shrubs is the CSU Extension website. Here are two links that you will find helpful:
Fall is coming and it is a wonderful time to plant perennials:
JLS Landscape & Sprinkler, Inc.
JLS has been maintaining quality landscapes for corporate and commercial clients in Colorado for over 40 years.