// consider what is above and below the soil //
The success of water-wise planting can also be informed by Colorado’s soil. The type of soil varies from lawn to lawn, but the majority of Colorado residents experience heavy clay soil, which is low in organic matter. Although most native plants can thrive in this soil type, others may eventually die due to lack of nutrients.
Mulching offers a three-fold solution to soil health. First, mulch helps soil retain moisture — an asset to the xeric gardener. Additionally, mulch keeps weeds at bay, allowing Colorado gardeners to spend less time pulling. Finally, mulch eventually breaks down into the soil below, amending the soil with valuable nutrients.
Still, no matter how healthy the soil is, continued drought may wreak havoc on non-native lawns and long expanses of sod. Water resource analysts have already recognized Colorado’s excessive use of water to maintain lush, green lawns, and are pushing for legislation that incentivizes residents to replace monoculture lawns with either turf or xeric landscaping.
To learn more about replacing your lawn with water-wise landscaping, visit Resource Central’s Lawn Replacement Program page.