Plants and Water-Wise Gardens

water wise garden

Nowadays "xeriscaping" is becoming a negative word as people associate it with "zero plants" or "rocks and cactus". What xeriscaping truly embraces is an area filled with plants and terrain that is more self-sufficient and requires less water


  • Water in the early or late part of the day to decrease evaporation
  • If your house is not connected to a municipal water supply you can have a rain catchment system in Colorado


  • Consider supporting Colorado's "No Mow May" movement.
  • One hour of mowing is equivalent to driving 350 miles in an average car.
  • Mow high to shade the roots and prevent evaporation and prevent weeds.
  • Consider a reel mower is good for exercise and reduces emissions and noise.
  • Electric lawn mowers produce less than 1% of the emissions of a gas powered one.
  • Grasscycle by not collecting clippings to increase nutrients

Plants & Weed Maintenance

  • Plant native plants that are adapted to the environment and will require less care.
  • When buying seeds or small plants look for "organic" or "heirloom" (best because they have natural resistance and no genetic modification)
  • Conventional flower bouquets are often grown with heavy pesticide use. Try to find a local organic alternative either from a farmer or a natural foods store.
  • Instead of chemical fertilizers which cause the grass to grow faster and therefore deplete the soil of nutrients, use compost or organic fertilizer.
  • You can purchase local compost through Vail Honeywagon.
  • Avoid chemical pesticides, most have very adverse effects on human health
  • Avoid 2, 4-D, dicamba, and glyphosate (Round-up) in herbicides. They kill plants indiscriminately, increase plants' resistance to herbicide, and are toxic to people.
  • Instead of herbicide, spray weeds with a mixture of vinegar with at least 5% acetic acid or pour boiling water over the weed.


  • Buy recycled plastic or aluminum lawn furniture to save trees and lower maintenance costs
  • Reuse wood or buy wood labeled "sustainable" by the Forest Stewardship Council
  • Recycled plastic lumber can also be used for fences and plant beds.
  • Avoid bird feeders, as this can help invasive species outcompete natives and can attract larger animals.
  • Don't forget to check your local thrifty shop, or Facebook Marketplace for gently used tools, pots, garden gnomes, and any other garden supported items.

CSU Extension in Eagle has great resources such as, vegetation management, plant guides, events calendar for classes.