The forecast is calling for a hard freeze Wednesday and Thursday nights. If you have already turned on your sprinkler system we would highly recommend that you drain the supply lines to try and prevent any freeze damage to the copper, backflow preventer, and the manifold. Please watch this video to see the step by step process on how to do this. To turn it back on, you will simply need to reverse the process. If you cannot locate any of the appropriate turn on or shut off valves and we have serviced your property before, please call the office and we can help you locate them because we have a database with that information.
Colorado stoneworks is a proud members of the Association of Landscape Contractors of Colorado. Each year the southern chapter chooses a local non-profit that is in need of a landscape renovation. This year we chose to support the Alpine Autism Center in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood. This facility uses highly interactive and individualized treatment for children and families affected by autism. They just recently secured funding and have purchased the building in full.
We decided to help them increase the curb appeal of the facility and to create an area where donors can be recognized with engraved cut flagstone along the entry way. Due to the water restrictions, we also wanted to provide an example of a xeriscape that uses less water and local drought tolerant plants. The turf area was reduced in the area in front of the building while still leaving a usable area of turf for the kids on the side of the building. We also just did some basic clean up, weeding, refreshing rock beds, and new plants to tweek the appearance of the main sign area. Hopefully this project will benefit the Alpine Autism Center for years to come. We’re happy to be a part of this project each year.
Here are some photos taken throughout the process. Thank you to the other companies, vendors, and our employees for making this project a complete success!
It seems like the announcement of restrictions for Colorado Springs Utilities customers has created a bit of a frenzy for our customers. What can I do to help my lawn during drought conditions? Will my lawn die? Can I still plant new sod or seed problem areas? That’s what we’re here for! We are doing our best to keep you all updated and provide the best information possible. We have also been researching the water districts in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas to find out the different schedules and planting requirements. Let’s start with the things you can do to keep your lawn strong-
As I have said before, your lawn can survive within all of these restrictions it will just look different. With that in mind there are a few things that we recommend doing every year, but in conditions like these they are essential to help strengthen your turf and ensure survival.
- Aeration– increases the water absorption capacity of the turf and allows for better air flow to the root system.
- Fertilization Program– This is especially important in drought conditions because the compounds in fertilizer are what naturally come down with rain. The rain pulls these nutrients from the air and supplies it to your lawn. With drought conditions, supplementing these nutrients with a fertilizer program will absolutely strengthen your turf.
- Weed Control Program– If your turf has to fight with weeds for water and nutrients it’s going to struggle. Keeping the turf clear of weeds will ensure the water and fertilizer you apply will help only the grass.
- Irrigation– We recommend evaluating the efficiency of your irrigation system. Every year the irrigation industry comes up with new technology that changes the size and weight of the droplets to reduce evaporation and to help it hit the turf. Also your watering schedule can make a huge difference. Consider dividing the allowed time between the morning and the evening to allow the water to be better absorbed and to reduce runoff. Also, most of these watering districts offer rebates for upgrading your system to include efficient heads, rain sensors, and much more.
- Moisture retention– The use of polymers to retain moisture for a longer period of time.
Here are the districts we have found in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas with their specific restrictions and planting guidelines.
Colorado Springs Utilities– Stage IIb Restrictions
Effective April 1-
- Outdoor landscape watering limited to 2 days a week on designated days.
- Residential Customers: Even numbered addresses on Sundays and Wednesdays. Odd numbered addresses on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
- Commercial Customers: Mondays and Fridays
- Customers can water up to 3 hours on designated days.
- Drip irrigation and hand watering are not limited.
- May 1st through October 1st you may not water between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- Increased rates are effective for usage over 2000 cubic feet of water.
Establishment Permits are required for sod or seed installation
- Cost $50
- Effective for a maximum of 28 days and includes a specific irrigation schedule for that time period.
- A permit will not excuse customers from paying higher rates for the increased usage.
- Soil amendment of at least 4 cubic yards per 1000 square feet of planting area and must be one of the approved amendments.
As a member of the ALCC, we are meeting with CSU on Friday morning and I will provide any new updates at that time.
Manitou Springs: Level 1 Restrictions
- Residential customers are limited to 3 days a week with even numbers on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and odd numbers on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
- Maximum of 2 hours a day only between the hours of 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. or 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
- Hand watering is not restricted
- New planting of sod or seed requires an Exemption Permit. The application requires specific information as to why planting, how much, and how often you’ll need to water.
- Residential customers are permitted to water 3 days a week with odd numbers on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday and even numbers on Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday. No watering permitted on Mondays.
- Watering permitted between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m.
- Lawn permits are available for establishment watering. 2 week permit for sod and a 4 week permit for seed.
- Hand watering not restricted.
- Effective June 1st.
Woodmen Hills: Peyton and Falcon Areas-
- No current restrictions. The district is working on their policies and should have more information available in the next few weeks. The office indicated they are planning some restrictions and they will be effective May 1st.
- The website is not updated correctly according the the staff member in the office. It should be updated soon.
Cherokee Metro District: Stage 2
- Effective April through October
- Residential properties are limited to two days per week with odd addresses permitted on Tuesday and Saturday and even addresses on Wednesday and Sunday.
- Commercial/Industrial areas are permitted on Mondays and Fridays.
- Maximum of 3 hours per day between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m.
- Hand watering of turf is only permitted on assigned watering days. but trees, flowers, shrubs, and gardens can be watered any day.
- Sod/Seed permits are required and available between April 1st and May 15th or September 1st and September 30th.
- Cherokee also has specific requirements that are necessary to receive a permit including a fee, soil amendment, and a maximum of 1,500 square feet of turf permitted on the property as a whole.
Donala Water District: Stage 3 Standards
- Irrigation allowed 2 days a week with odd numbers on Monday and Friday and even numbers on Tuesday and Saturday.
- No watering permitted on Sundays
- Irrigation times are from midnight to 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. to midnight on assigned days.
- Residential users shall not exceed 3 hours of watering on designated days.
- Permits are requirements for sod or seed, but no amendments or proof of purchase is required. Additional watering is permitted for 2 weeks for seed installation and 3 weeks for sod installation.
- These areas do not have mandatory restrictions at this time. Residents are recommended to only water on odd or even days of the month depending on their address and to not water on the last day of the month.
- No sod or seed permits are required in these areas at this time.
I know this seems like an overload of information, but we are here to help! Feel free to call with any questions or to schedule a consultation to evaluate your property and what items will help. It may be time to consider renovating your landscape to reduce the turf or to replace it with a more drought tolerant species.
Last night, Colorado Springs city council voted 7-1 to approve Stage II B watering restrictions that limit residents to water 2 days a week starting April 1st. Watering has to be completed between 6 pm and 10 am and must not exceed 3 hours total. Hand watering non-turf areas and drip zones are not limited at this time. City council also approved higher charges for excess usage. The charge will be double the normal rate for usage over 2000 cubic feet of water per month. Residents that need more flexibility in their watering schedule (that cannot water their entire lawn within the 3 hour limit for example) can apply for Alternative Watering Plans that will approve different schedules. Also, residents that still want to plant new sod or seed can apply for an establishment permit that will allow for an increased watering schedule for 28 days. It is important to note that with either of these approved permits the higher charge over 2000 cubic feet of water will still apply. The community water-savings goal for April through October is 30 percent. Achieving this will help rebuild Colorado Springs’ water supply, which could take several years to accomplish.
The important thing to remember is that grass can survive on 2 days of water! Your lawn will not die!! It will simply not be the emerald green that some of you pride yourselves on having each summer. When grass turns yellow, it is dormant, not dead. It will green up when temperatures drop in the fall. There are also many things you can do that help ensure the water you use is applied and absorbed efficiently. Aeration increased the ability of the turf to absorb water and increases air flow to the roots. Also decreases the amount of run off. We recommend aeration in both the spring and the fall. A good fertilization and weed program can also increase the strength and health of your turf and increase its survivability in drought conditions.
Over the next few weeks, we will be posting other tips and tricks to help reduce your water usage and be efficient with what you choose to use! Feel free to call or email us at any time with specific questions. We are here to help!
We’ve updated and upgraded our website and added a blog! Stay tuned to this space or subscribe to our feed for future posts about landscaping and lawn maintenance in the Pikes Peak region!