5 Ways to Conserve More Water in Your Colorado Garden

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A fundamental part of maintaining a sustainable landscape design is to minimize your impact on the Colorado water table. Even a backyard landscape with ornamental grasses or a water feature, you can make smart decisions to reduce your water usage. Water-wise landscaping in Colorado begins with a good plan, but you must maintain these conscious steps year after year to experience your garden’s full potential. Even during the peak growing season, you can conserve water and watch your garden flourish with a dazzling array of colors and fragrances.

The following five tips can help you conserve more water in your Colorado garden while still crafting a beautiful front yard or backyard landscape. Read on to learn how to create a water-conscious garden—no matter your elevation.

Beach Style Landscape by Sterling Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Princeton Scapes Inc
Source: Princeton Scapes Inc via Houzz

Choose water-wise plants. Except for a few shade-tolerant annuals and perennials, there’s really no excuse for not growing water-wise plants. Native plants have adapted to our low-water environment, even in full sun, and still have all the beautiful green foliage and blooms you’ve come to appreciate in non-native counterparts ill-suited for our dry climate.

Modern Landscape by Oak Harbor Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Root Design & Landscape
Source: Root Design & Landscape via Houzz

Water deeply. Gardeners are usually content with 15-minute daily watering schedules set on their timed irrigation. Unfortunately, this frequent “shallow” watering yields plants with shallow roots, which require more water. Instead, practice “deep watering,” which requires less water in the long run. Plus, you’ll encourage strong and healthy root growth deep in the ground and save water while you’re at it.

Traditional Landscape by Denver Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Ivy Street Design
Source: Ivy Street Design via Houzz

Create a xeriscape plan. Xeriscaping is a smart landscaping technique that carefully analyzes your site, including its geography, orientation, drainage conditions, sun exposure, etc. A xeriscape designer will then choose plants that suit a particular area’s conditions. Of course, a xeriscape is also drought-resistant. A well-designed xeriscape landscape will require very little watering once plants are established.

Contemporary Landscape by Vancouver Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Aloe Designs
Source: Aloe Designs via Houzz

Do the finger check. If you’re an avid container gardener, do the finger check before watering. You may find your plants require less water than you think. The first two to three inches of soil should be dry before you even consider whipping out that watering can. You can use this same tactic for flower beds and raised beds as well.

Eclectic Landscape by Belmont Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Kristen Rudger Landscape Design
Source: Kristen Rudger Landscape Design via Houzz

Switch groundcover. Get rid of that lawn, or at least large portions of it. Lawns are major water consumers. You can augment your lawn with alternative green and/or colorful drought-tolerant groundcover, including clover, lilyturf, Dymondia, or native grasses like bluestem.


Despite our winter snowfall, Colorado is still an arid environment that doesn’t receive significant amounts of precipitation throughout the year. As a result, it’s important to be conscious of the amount of water you use for your landscape and garden design. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have an irrigation system or that you need to completely xeriscape your entire yard.

There are several effective (and easy) ways to converse water in your Colorado garden, such as choosing water-wise plants, watering deeply, and switching out groundcover. Not only will these landscaping decisions save on water and costs, but they will also help you preserve our precious natural resources and minimize your impact on the local environment.

Contact Lifescape Colorado if you need assistance enhancing your Colorado landscape. We can assist you with planning, building, planting, in addition to year-round maintenance for stunning outdoor living spaces.