Drought Gardening

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Colorado's gardening season is fast approaching. But with the current drought, some people might shy away from planting what they usually do.

Still, nursery and garden center operators remain optimistic, saying educating people about certain plants that require less water will help the situation. Plus, there's a new watering guide to help would-be gardeners select the right plants for drought conditions.

"I think that the general public understands that they're watching their water use now," says Woody Woodworth, the owner of High Country Feed and Garden Center. He doesn't feel his sales will suffer much because of the drought. He says education is key to keeping the garden business in full bloom and to conserving water.

The Garden Centers of Colorado this year have developed a list of so-called "X rated" plants. The system works like this:

  • A plant with an X rating means it thrives in slightly dry conditions.
  • A plant with a XX rating requires very little water.
  • A plant with a XXX rating requires almost no watering at all.

    Plants with these ratings can be found in many garden centers.

    Other than plants and shrubs that require less water, another way to help conserve is mulch. "As the mulch continues to stay on the ground, the water stays inside, so it just stays inside the root zone. So it's a really wonderful set up," Woodworth says.

    For more information on drought-hardy plants:

    Green Industries of Colorado

    New twice-a-week water restrictions go into effect for Colorado Springs Utilities customers beginning April 15th.

    Watering schedule:

  • Residential (Even addresses) Wednesday and Sunday
  • Residential (odd addresses) Tuesday and Saturday
  • Commercial (all addresses) Monday and Friday

    From April 15 through Oct. 15, watering is only allowed between 12 a.m. (midnight) and 9 a.m. or between 6 p.m. and 12 a.m. (midnight) on a customer's designated watering day.

    Customers may water at any time on their designated day from Oct. 16 through April 14.

    Residential customers may water for a maximum of three hours per day on their designated watering day.

    Commercial customers may water 20 minutes per zone or area for pop-up fixed spray sprinklers and 45 minutes per zone or area for pop-up rotary type sprinklers (including but not limited to impact or gear drive).

    Properties with no street address, such as parks, common areas, parkways and medians, must follow the commercial schedule.

    Apartments, condominiums, townhouses and mobile home parks must also follow the commercial schedule.

    Outdoor landscape watering is allowed at any time with a hand-held container or drip irrigation system.

    For more information on the CSU watering ordinance:

    Colorado Springs Utilities web site