Spring and summer in Colorado can mean red flag warnings that tell us conditions are ripe for wildfires. Windy weather and low humidity also factor into the threat. As the population grows, people are moving into areas that used to be reserved for nature. Homeowners in these areas should be aware of the environment and choose low growing plants or ground cover that can tolerate drought conditions.
“Defensible space” is the area between your house and the point where your landscape begins. Plants and bushes that are allowed to grow up against a structure only serve to draw the flames of a fire nearer to it. A defensible space will also allow room for firefighters to get between a fire and your home.
Colorado landscapers are knowledgeable about plants that are most suitable for the climate – and there are many to choose from. They will suggest clustered plantings, using rock and gravel to accent the vegetation, and using mulch to discourage weeds. Decorative containers full of flowers or greenery add to the beauty of your landscape, as do hanging baskets.
Maintenance is important to reduce the devastation that a wildfire can cause. Keep your main lawn mowed and don’t forget the out buildings. Weeds tend to grow up around sheds or under elevated decks, if not regularly tended to.
Consider installing a rock garden as a variation to your landscape. They are year round attractions and don’t require a lot of work. Once established, your rock garden will serve as a natural fire barrier.
Be careful when including shrubs in your landscape. Tall shrubbery can actually catapult a fire’s flames to spread to the treetops. Select those that grow lower to the ground and keep them pruned.
Large trees can be problematic, but there are some species that are less resistant to fire than others. Aspen and Cottonwood are native to Colorado and are both good choices. The main danger is from falling leaves that can collect on the ground. If you do plant trees, be sure to keep the ground beneath them clear of debris.
CoCal Landscape in Denver can put you in the capable hands of a designer that can help you create a blueprint for a beautiful landscape job and one that will help to preserve the environment. Call them @ 303-578-4788.