Of course, summertime weather doesn’t appear with the flick of a switch. We’ll almost certainly experience some hot, dry spells in the months prior to this moment, which is why Denver Water’s annual summer watering rules go into effect May 1.
But these are just dates, not predictors of the bipolar Colorado climate. Weather patterns are the true indicators for proper watering habits.
When it comes to knowing when and where to water this spring, follow these rules of (green) thumb:
Trees and shrubs: During prolonged dry periods, water once or twice a month, using 10 gallons of water for each inch of the tree’s diameter. Water only when the temperature is above 40 degrees and there is no snow on the ground.
Vegetable and flower gardens: No matter what time of year it is, we suggest always watering your garden by hand to ensure water goes only into the soil where the plant roots can use it. It’s a good idea to check your soil moisture by using a small trowel prior to watering.
Lawn: With warm, even hot, days in May, your yard still won’t need as much water as it will during dry spells in the summer. Create your own watering guide for the following months, specific to your lawn, using the scheduler here. Adjust your watering times based on rainfall, type of grass or plants, sunny or shady locations and other characteristics.
Watering is not an exact science. Every yard is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all guide to landscape care. But as the days grow longer and you emerge from winter hibernation, start the watering season off right by working with Mother Nature, no matter what she has in store this spring.