Posts tagged Gardenhart Landscape & Design

Landscape Watering Dilemmas in Durango Colorado: How Much?

Wildlife Resistant Landscape

How Much Do I water these Trees and Perennials?

How much do I water my SW Colorado landscape?

There is a very similar outcome when you water too much or too little.  One way to really decide whether to water or not is to actually feel the soil.  If you will dig down about three inches and grab a handful of soil and try to squeeze  it into a ball.  If it sticks together, then it still has sufficient moisture.  The problem with over watering is that the water molecules replace the oxygen in the soil and causes distress to plants.

Durango Landscaping Services by Gardenhart Landscape & Design

Sod & Grass use different amounts of water than many Trees and Plants

Signs of Over watering from Gardenhart Landscape & Design

It seems to me that my garden has not been growing very well and perhaps it is because it has been over watered.  The soil at my house is very hard packed river bottom and even though we have  tilled the garden area and applied compost and soil amendments numerous times, we still do not have a “well-drained soil”.  Watering here is difficult, too much and it runs off and not enough we water only the surface, which encourages shallow roots.  Ideal soil will absorb water down to about eighteen inches or deeper, then allow it to gradually dry out over a predictable period of time.  The plant roots will seek the moisture by going deeper in the soil,  thus they are less susceptible to dry times.

Durango Colorado Landscaping Companies help figure out how much to water

How Much Water Does Sod Need?

In summary, watering is very site specific, depending on your soil composition and the requirements of the individual plants.   As long as the soil will absorb water, deep watering is preferred.  You must pay attention to what is going on with your plants and the soil they are trying to grow in.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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Best Trees to Plant in Durango, Colorado

Gardenhart Landscape & Design Recommended Everlasting Tree Varieties to Plant in Southwest Colorado

There are many great resources regarding recommended trees to plant in the Durango area.  Gardenhart Landscape & Design’s recommendations are based on years of landscape design and installation and appropriateness in our area with special attention to deer & disease resistance, overall hardiness, ease of care, beauty and  size.  Gardenhart’s list includes:

  1. Ginnala Maple
  2. Wasatch Maple
  3. Western Hackberry
  4. Russian Hawthorn
  5. Green Ash
  6. Thornless Honeylocust
  7. Brandywine Crabapple
  8. Gambell Oak
  9. English Oak
  10. Schumard Oak

Evergreens:

  1. White Fir
  2. Meyer Juniper
  3. Utah Juniper
  4. Limber Pine
  5. Austrian Pine
  6. Eastern White Pine
  7. Southwestern White Pine
  8. Scotch Pine

This link directs you to the unsuitable trees as recommended by the City of Durango.  The list of trees on the link are not planted in Durango because of one or more of the following undesirable characteristics: Prolific seed production, invasive habits, fruit, pods, thorn bearing, weak limbs and/or structure and insect and disease problems.

According to Ron Stoner, one of the city of Durango’s favorite trees is the Wasatch Maple.  It is very hardy and looks great!

landscaping in Durango Colorado

Fall Maple Color

Durango nursery lists all zone 3 shrubs and trees.

If you have other questions about type, location and watering schedule for certain trees, let me know.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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Best Perennials to Plant in Durango, CO That are Resistant to Deer & Rabbits

What to do about deer eating bulbs

delicate and tasty bulbs

Best Perennials to Plant in Durango, CO That are Resistant to Deer & Rabbits

How do you deal with the critters that are hungry?  Early spring when there is little to eat, the deer and rabbit are pervasive.  It is very difficult to keep them out of gardens and from eating my early blooming bulbs.  They both eat my daylillies and tulips  on the  south  side of my home every year. Daffodils, rhubarb and grape hyacinths generally go unscathed.  Amazingly also they will nibble on the fresh new growths of rose bushes, of which there is only one in our yard.

Several of our local Durango gardeners like to use a product called Bobex, which is sprayed on your plants.  It makes the plants unappetizing to these critters and they are less likely to eat them up. I do not have personal experience with this product, but some swear by it.  I also think that there are several other brands that work the same way, I would ask at your favorite garden center for their personal preference. Organic Gardening Magazine has several ideas on how to control garden pests.

Locally,  Durango Nursery and Supply’s recommended zone 3 perennials that are more resistant to deer is a very helpful list.  The only really proven way to control the deer and rabbits is to put up a very big and sturdy fence.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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Landscaping Can Prevent Damage From Avalanches in Southwest Colorado

Landscaping Tips to Prevent Damage From Avalanches in Durango, Colorado

This past January a snow slide hit a house.  This Durango house was adjacent to a cliff, with little landscaping above it.  If you are located in potential slide area, Gardenhart Landscape and Design recommends planting evergreen trees above and throughout the avalanche run out zone. Another thing that you could do would be to protect the home with rock outcrops above the home.  Overall the best landscaping tactic is tree planting, as the trees will slow down the overall run-out.

Obviously when looking at new homes, it is best to be wary of purchasing anything that abuts any cliff or dirt, especially brand new construction.  The amount of drainage from such area may be unknown, and destructive, plus weather patterns may change.  The major accumulation of snow would be the north side slope, but a west and south-facing slope may melt faster.

 

durango colorado avalanche damage how to prevent with landscapinglandscaping tips to prevent avalanche, mud and water damage

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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Durango Colorado Tree Pruning Tips

Durango has been designated a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day foundation for 36 consecutive years.  In 1978 Durango City Council  adopted a resolution to assume ownership & maintenance responsibilities for trees on City property and in the Right Of Way.  Park Department personnel determined in 1980 that a formal tree management program was needed and they have taken the appropriate actions since.   The four requirements to obtain this designation from the Arbor Day Foundation:

  1. Ordinance for Tree Protection  and Licensing program
  2. Hold annual Arbor Day ceremony
  3. Establish Parks & Forestry Board
  4. Hire full-time Forestry Staff.

In the March issue of Lawn and Landscape Magazine they have focused on tree care.  This article on preventing tree topping gives several great reasons why this is not a sustainable practice.

Some photos of tree topping:

I notice this tree topping practice and cringe.  You might as well simply cut down the tree instead, because by utilizing this practice you are decreasing the health and vigor of the tree and thus make it  susceptible to diseases and insect infestation, thus it will  most likely die.  Fortunately, Durango has some control over the pruning practices that occur within city limits.  In order to prune trees in town for hire, the individual must obtain a licence from the city.  This process requires a written and a practical test overseen by the City Arborist.

If you are considering hiring a person to prune your trees and shrubs, be sure to ask for and see their licence from the city of Durango. You can call the city at 970-375-5010  to see if they hold a current licence or view their list.  This is a good way to determine the licensee’s understanding of horticulture and their skill with a saw and pruner. Also, you can report questionable persons or their work to the City Arborist, whose number is 970-375-7383.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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Snow Loads in Durango Colorado; when to remove the snow

Durango snow on roof

Snow removal from roof

Snow loads can be dangerous.  It is important to know how heavy the snow may be, because it can do some serious damage if you are not careful.  Check out these articles for recent roof damage around Durango Colorado:http://www.durangoherald.com/sections/News/2010/01/29/Roof_at_Iron_Horse_collapses/

http://www.durangoherald.com/sections/News/2010/01/26/Slide_hits_Animas_home/

This article has great information regarding the snow weight and what that may mean to you: http://www.durangoherald.com/sections/News/2010/01/30/La_Plata_County_digs_out_snow_weight_device/

I found this article to be interesting because of several roof failures we have seen here in the Durango area.  The article mentions some of the larger structures that have collapsed recently, but I am aware of a lot of problems that do not make the newspaper.  While roof  failure is a significant possibility, there are other reasons for not wanting tons of snow on your roof.   Many roofs are leaking from snowmelt and ice dams.  This is a serious problem that can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home and it’s contents.  Gardenhart Landscape & Design has worked on several roofs to remove the snow and thus stop the flow of melting water into the residence.

Another concern of mine is snow accumulating on manufactured homes and modular structures that are not constructed for snow loads typically found in Durango and the surrounding La Plata County area.  Many of these homes are built in other parts of the country and transported to Durango that do not have building codes that require roofs to withstand up to 40 lbs.  per square foot.  So, help out your friends and neighbors, remind them to monitor their roof loads so we all can get through this winter season safe and look forward to SPRING!

I really appreciate metal roofs and how they assist the snow load to move off the roof.  I see a lot of houses in Durango that have a shingle or shake roof that accumulates the snow.  If you are thinking about building and need suggestions about what kind of roof to use, I recommend a metal roof that has a good pitch to it.  This will alleviate a lot of hard shoveling and getting up on the roof to remove that load.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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Durango Snow Removal Tips focusing on Ice Melt Products

Now that Gardenhart Landscape & Design has caught up from the last storm, the problem I am having is snow melting from my roof on the driveway and freezing into a solid mass of ice. I wonder if others are having the same problem and what solutions have worked. I used to get out there with sharp tools and flat shovel and work for hours chipping and removing it by hand.  Ice melt products have had a negative connotation for me until recently and I have begun experimenting with them at my home. I have found that they really do a good job with very icy areas.  It does take some time, but removing the hard ice is tough.

The Pro’s of using ice melt include less work, faster melting.  But the cons include granular rock type material around your walks and being tracked into the house.  The ice melt is made from a chemical composition that includes some of the items in the below table which are  potentially harmful to concrete, plants, pets or your drinking water if you have your own well.

Instead of “salting” your driveway, use types that are safe for pets. This alternative to salt for ice melting is more eco-friendly than salt. Many pet safe ice melt products don’t contain salt, but rather three organic ingredients.   You could also try using baking soda or kitty litter on the ice, which is a lot safer.

Chemicals Used to Melt Ice

Name Formula Lowest Practical Temp Pros Cons
Ammonium sulfate (NH4)2SO4 -7°C
(20°F)
Fertilizer Damages concrete
Calcium chloride CaCl2 -29°C
(-20°F)
Melts ice faster than sodium chloride Attracts moisture, surfaces slippery below -18°C (0°F)
Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) Calcium carbonate CaCO3, magnesium carbonate MgCO3, and acetic acid CH3COOH -9°C
(15°F)
Safest for concrete & vegetation Works better to prevent re-icing than as ice remover
Magnesium chloride MgCl2 -15°C
(5°F)
Melts ice faster than sodium chloride Attracts moisture
Potassium acetate CH3COOK -9°C
(15°F)
Biodegradable Corrosive
Potassium chloride KCl -7°C
(20°F)
Fertilizer Damages concrete
Sodium chloride (rock salt, halite) NaCl -9°C
(15°F)
Keeps sidewalks dry Corrosive, damages concrete & vegetation
Urea NH2CONH2 -7°C
(20°F)
Fertilizer Agricultural grade is corrosive

Ice melt products may cut  ice problems, but can really affect lawns. Most ice melts have a high pH level, and this burns the lawn, killing grass.  The problem area generally can be easy to repair. Gypsum may help reverse the damage because it has two key ingredients, calcium and sulfur, that help neutralize the soil.

Therefore, the overall conclusion that I have come to is to read the ingredient label on all ice melt products. I will purchase those that are the safest and stay away from those most harmful.  Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride appear the safest to use, but I will experiment with both baking soda and kitty litter. This will be good for our landscaping, pets, water and the earth.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

Facebook for more sustainable landscaping tips.

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