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Denver Landscaping Services: How to Make Xeriscape Work for Your Yard

March 21, 2018

With Denver’s semi-arid climate, growing things here can be a challenge. Not only are we usually under water restrictions because of drought, but as a landlocked state, we need to be protective of our water supplies. Xeriscaping can be a great solution that not only looks beautiful but enables you to conserve that most precious of resources: water. If you want to create a yard that is lovely to look at and good for the environment, contact the experts at Water Solutions in Denver to find out more about Denver landscaping services.

Soil Preparation for Xeriscape Landscaping

If you are like most people living in the Denver metro area, you probably have a lawn in place—and it’s probably Kentucky bluegrass, which is one of the most difficult types of lawns to grow here. Getting rid of it probably won’t hurt too much!

The first thing to do is to kill the top growth. If you are dealing with a large portion of yard, the best way to do it is to use a glyphosate product like Roundup (there are a number of other brands out there as well) to kill the grass. This will permeate the root of the grass but it will not contaminate the soils. Be sure to follow the directions carefully.

It might take a full two weeks to turn the lawn brown, so be prepared for the fact that it’s not going to happen overnight.

Next you want to address whether or not there are any pests in the soil. One way to do this is called solarization. This is a nonchemical way to raise the temperature of the soil to a high enough degree that it will kill weeds, pathogens, and pests in the soil. This technique is also useful for breaking down nutrients in the soil, which is good for the planting stage of your project.

At this point you also want to find out what type of soil you have, which will help you choose plants that will grow well in the area. Analyze the soil for nutrients present and pH balance, which will tell you if it is acidic or alkaline. There are soil pH kits you can purchase so you can do the testing on your own.

Once you find out what type of soil you are dealing with, find out what you can add to it to improve both workability and drainage capacity. This will help ensure the success of your new xeriscape landscaping.

Before you get started with plants, you might want to create a terrace design to add visual interest and to help with water channeling. If you are planting near your home, be sure drainage slopes away from the house rather than toward it.

Plant Treatments for Xeriscape Landscaping

The best Denver landscaping companies can suggest drought-resistant plants for your xeriscape landscaping that thrive with very little water. Xeriscaping is not only cost-effective because it uses so little water, but it is also quite low maintenance, so you can save a lot of time not having to do a lot of yard work.

And did you know that a xeriscape landscape can even increase the value of your home? There are other advantages too, which you can read about in Xeriscape Colorado by Colorado WaterWise.

There are many drought-resistant plants you can use in your xeriscape landscaping, and here is a partial list of plants you can take a look at to get you inspired (Note that these are most suited to the Front Range of Colorado.):
  • Agastache, or Hummingbird Mint, unsurprisingly—given the name—attracts hummingbirds.
  • Native to the southwestern part of the United States, the agave is very low maintenance.
  • This native-to-Colorado shrub, Apache Plume, is quite unique.
  • Blue Avena Grass needs little maintenance and adds a lovely texture and contrast to nearby plants.
  • Catmint produces flowers all summer long.
  • Coral Bells produce flowers in late spring to early summer.
  • Rocky Mountain native Creeping Western Sand Cherry attracts birds and wildlife. 
  • Crimson Pygmy Barberry is red, as the name implies, and is a compact, dense shrub.
  • A medium-sized shrub, Fernbush has leaves all winter long.
  • Mexican Feather Grass has a lovely way of moving in the breeze.
  • Mojave Sage is a semi-evergreen shrub that will give you color most of the year.
  • Panchito Manzanita has berries and flowers as well as being evergreen.
  • Penstemon is a small plant, so it’s perfect for filling empty spaces between other plants.
  • Prairie Coneflower produces flowers all summer, and you can easily harvest its seeds for planting the following season.
  • Prairie Winecups is another Colorado native plant that thrives in this climate.
  • This shrub is actually native to the Mediterranean, but the Spanish Gold Broom is an evergreen plant that does well here as well.
  • Torch Lillies grow in thick clumps, adding interest to the landscape.
  • The Rocky Mountain native Yarrow is extremely drought tolerant.
  • Yuccas are true evergreens that are native to the southwestern United States and Mexico.

Irrigation Treatments for Xeriscape Landscaping

It’s best to have the professionals install an efficient irrigation system for your new xeriscape landscaping. They can help determine the appropriate amount of water needed to keep all the plants healthy and happy. They can make sure water is not wasted by using, for example, rotor sprinklers. This type of sprinkler distributes water evenly, keeping wasted water to a minimum. Your new xeriscape landscaping should thrive—regardless of how dry it gets this summer.

Spring is here! Contact the pros at Water Solutions to plan your xeriscape landscaping today. Our expert staff has been satisfying customers for more than 20 years and is respected throughout the Denver area for providing exceptional landscaping services.  We can handle any of your landscaping needs, whether you want xeriscaping or a more traditional look to your yard. We only use superior products, and we would love to use them to help maximize the beauty and health of your yard. Contact us today! We are proud to serve the Aurora, Centennial, Denver, Greenwood Village, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Lone Tree, and Parker areas, providing sprinkler and landscaping services.