Your Colorado Yard “To Do” List

This time of year, your Colorado yard needs some love.

This time of year, Colorado’s unpredictable Spring climate can play havoc with your yard, trees, shrubs, and lawn. We’ve had record high temps in March, followed by a dry streak. Some plants are confused, and blooming already, which endangers them if there’s a long freeze or heavy, wet snow that often breaks branches. Here are some ideas to prepare:

  • If the weather is warm and dry, water shrubs and trees.
  • Should the forecast include freezing temperatures, protect plants with fabric, burlap, laundry baskets, boxes – just don’t let anything touch the new leaves or the cold tranmits the cold directly into the plant. Check out how to build a “hoop house” for frost protection.
  • Plant Something Colorado recommends fertilizing trees, shrubs and flower beds while dormant.
  • Clean out beds, pull up old mulch.
  • Trim ornamental grasses and perennials once new growth is showing.
  • Core-aerate your lawn now, and if needed, fertilize with a nitrogen mixture, while weather is cool. Control weeds now, too – Horticultural vinegar (ask at your local garden center) is good for spot treating.
  • As soon as your lawn is 3.5”, begin mowing – try not to remove more than 1/3 of the blade (2.5” – 3” height) to keep your lawn healthy.  It will usually grow at a faster rate in April and May. It’s a good time to overseed areas or bare spots that need it while the temperatures are still cool.
  • If you’re a pet owner, check fences for areas that need repair to keep your yard dog friendly and safe.
  • Colorado’s one of the few places where lawns can suffer from snow mold if there are long periods of snow cover, and then damaged by clover mites. Inspect your lawn for both.
  • Test your sprinkler system, timer, etc.  Sharpen lawnmower blades and tune up your garden tools; your maintenance now will go a long way for the summer months.
  • For those of you with a balcony vs. yard, you’ll want to remove old soil from your garden pots, mix in fertilizer and seed any herbs or vegetables you’re growing in pots.

There are excellent resources available to you at Colorado State University’s Cooperative Extension department you can call with questions. Happy Spring, and happy gardening!