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Planting xeriscape parking strip in the fall

Posted by kgtys 5-6 (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 26, 12 at 0:26

The spring and summer got away from me, and the city caught up w/me concerning my very wide and long corner parking strip. Asap I want to xeriscape - (33% must be vegetation. Also its OK to put it down in infancy stages just as long as it somewhat matures in 3 yrs). Currently there is mostly dead grass (and perpetual weeds) that I purposely never water - straw color is OK and saves water. What is the best method to totally clear out the weeds? At this point chemicals are OK.
Unfortunately I have little $ for this project and am looking for the most cost effective measures, also as low maintenance as possible (not just low maintenance but really low maintenance..) (I managed to neglect a a very beautiful old maple on the strip and remorsefully had to cut it down). Another option was to have a tree planted by the city which I guess I somewhat foolishly turned down because of my fear of yet killing yet another tree.
So far I have come up with bark mulch w/woven bl. plastic, tall grasses, maybe some low evergreen shrubs, a few med-big rocks, and a few drought tolerant plants. I've looked at pics of x-parking strips for ideas of how to arrange these (or other) things, but I don't know enough about landscaping to aesthetically arrange them, and am up against a wall time-wise with the city.

I don't know what type of evergreen shrubs to use, approx. how often they need trimming, and maintenance of tall grasses etc.

The other BIG question: Can I plant any of this in the fall - we just had our first fall weather today. I would prefer to put bark down in the spring, but I guess it's OK to do it now.

Any help would be much appreciated!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Planting xeriscape parking strip in the fall

Yes, you can plant a lot of things in the fall, especially in the early fall. That will give things a chance to settle in before the ground freezes. Then, next year, they will really take off.

What is the drainage like in your parking strip? Sun exposure?

What is your elevation, and how cold does that strip get in the winter?

Things like sedum and ice plant are perfectly happy with low water and hot sun. They are groundcovers which may also bloom.

There are a ton of flowering plants that would be relatively low maintenance in those conditions. Have you checked out the lists at the Plant Select website? Also, look at the online catalog for High Country Gardens to see a lot of plants that love hot, dry conditions. They have many pre-planned gardens, too, which again can give you some good ideas.

A lot of nurseries are having good end-of-season sales now. It's a good time to acquire perennials, grasses, groundcovers, etc. Also, there is the plant swap near Denver in a few weeks, a great time to pick up starts of very sturdy plants that are known to survive in this climate.

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