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Monthly Water Tips

July -- If you have an automatic sprinkler system, consider installing a rainfall or soil moisture sensor.  Rainfall sensors prevent your system from watering in the rain, while soil moisture sensors allow watering only when the soil beneath the surface really needs it.

August -- Consider installing drip irrigation or soaker hoses in beds and around trees and shrubs.  They're much more efficient than hose-end sprinklers or pop-up heads.

September -- Regular aerating is important to the health of your lawn.  Try to aerate 2 to 3 time a year, especially in the fall and spring.  Aeration breaks up the soil and allows water to soak in more easily.

October -- Now is the perfect time to winterize your sprinkler system.  Turn off the water, drain the valves and blow out the lines with compressed air.  Also disconnect and roll up garden hoses.

November -- If you're shopping for a new clothes washer, look at the horizontal-axis or front-loading models.  They use up to 50% less water than conventional washers.  If you're not ready for a new washer, you can still save water with your old machine by washing only full loads or by setting the water level lower for smaller loads.

December -- The latest volume of Denver Water's Xeriscape Maintenance makes a perfect Christmas or Hanukkah gift for the gardener in your life.  Available at local bookstores or call Denver Water at 303-628-6000.

January -- Mild, dry winters are great for outdoor activities, but can be harmful to young trees and shrubs. If you have trees or shrubs less than 3 years old, you might want to give them a long drink with a slow-running hose.

February -- Winter is the perfect time to plan for that garden you've always wanted.  Visit the Garden and Home Show for inspiration.  And take advantage of Denver Water's free Xeriscape Seminars to learn more about Xeriscape.

March -- March can be a very windy month along the Front Range, and wind steals much-needed moisture from plants and soil.  One way to cut down on moisture loss is to install some type of wind breaker, such as a fence or a row of evergreens.

April -- Recycling can be good for your garden.  Reuse plastic food containers as plant covers when plants are small. Cut the open area out of a gallon jug and use it as a scoop for potting soil. And old pantyhose are great for tying plants to stakes.

May -- Looking for a good place to buy those lovely plants featured in Denver Water's Xeriscape Plant Guide?  Stop by the Xeriscape division of the Denver Botanic Gardens annual Plant Sale.  The sale is held the Friday and Saturday before Mother's Day, and is open to the public.

June Keep it tall and let it fall. Grass should be mowed to a height of 2 - 3 inches.  The taller grass shades the roots and soil surface, reducing the amount of water evaporated and consumed.  And if you mow your lawn frequently, let your grass clippings return to the soil to naturally compost.