Posted by: Andie Wommack, Douglas County Extension
Earlier in the season, I gave you some things to consider when doing landscape work. One thing many people tend to do is place their plants too close together. When planning out your landscape it is important to consider the size your plants will be at maturity.
There are several websites that have landscape plans for you to use in your yard. They are all mapped out with the plants at maturity. When the landscape is first installed it will look sparse. It is important not to crowd your plants as that may cause problems down the line. While there are many tools available online to help you plan your own landscape, another option that is always good is to consult a landscape designer with help in renovating your landscape.
With any luck, the plants will be happy in their new homes and you should see nice growth as they begin to establish themselves. Some of the plants will die for a variety of reasons. One of the problems we had with the landscape we installed at our office was rabbits. Several of our new plants got eaten clear down to the ground. Some were able to recover. Others we will have to replant next spring. One thing we tried that seemed to work fairly well was to apply Liquid Fence, Deer and Rabbit Repellant granules. This seemed to help.
Another problem we had was too much water. Thankfully, we were spared the severe hail storms that plagued the rest of the front range this summer, but we did receive a lot of rain. This caused several of our plants to decline and some died. To compound this issue, one of the sprinkler heads got damaged at some point and was no longer pointed at the correct angle, causing some areas to receive too much water and others not enough.
Irrigation is more often than not the culprit in landscape issues. Too much. Too little. Inadequate coverage. Water needs fluctuate throughout the growing season and as plants grow and mature. It is important to check your system periodically to make sure all of the heads are working correctly, pointed in the right direction, and are reaching all the areas they are meant to. As a landscape matures, plants may begin to impede the stream from your sprinkler heads, lawnmowers may tilt the heads up or down, or heads may become clogged or damaged in other ways.
Gardening in Colorado can be particularly challenging so the most important thing to remember is to not give up! If you are having problems, your local Extension office is there to help! Many have Colorado Master Gardeners available to answer questions or your local horticulture agent is there as a resource as well.