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Apr 07, 2019

Tips to Gear Up Your Yard for Summer

Summer is just around the corner which means days at the pool, Sounds of Centerra and plenty of outdoor activities. It’s time to prepare your yard for warmer temperatures, while also being respectful of the wildlife that call The Lakes home. Here are several tips and ideas to help you care for your yard this summer.

Let Loveland Inspiration Take Root

The Lakes is a community that lives in harmony with the world around it, which means encouraging residents to design and care for their outdoor spaces with conservation in mind. One way to do this? Reduce your lawn size to save on maintenance time and water consumption. For those areas that do contain turf, be sure to water during late evening or early morning hours to reduce evaporation. Watering your lawn during peak temperature hours can waste 20-25 gallons of water per day!

Brighten your yard with native plants designed to thrive in the Colorado climate. These plants support pollinators and birds and require little to survive (good news for those without a green thumb). Get inspired at High Plains Environmental Center’s Native Plants Demonstration Garden, where you can see these native plants in their natural state and determine which is right for you. Beyond the fact that native plants are beautiful and an integral part of Centerra’s environment, they provide food and shelter for wildlife.

Create a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat

Something else to consider as you create your outdoor oasis is the opportunity to become a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat. In 2018, High Plains Environmental Center and Centerra celebrated Centerra’s designation as Colorado’s first Certified Community Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), indicating a commitment to creating spaces that welcome native wildlife. In order to be deemed a ‘wildlife habitat,’ residents must meet the following requirements:

  • Must have a food and water source for wildlife like a bird bath, and bird feeder
  • Provide a source of shelter, which could be a tree with branches for nesting.
  • Offer a place that wildlife could raise their young or build a nest; a large bush works great for this!

The NWF intentionally makes these requirements easily attainable so that residents can become certified without having to fully renovate their space.

Work with What You Have

There are other ways to prepare for warmer weather and care for your yard this summer without a complete overhaul. Clean up any debris that may have collected during the fall and winter, like twigs, branches and leaves, being sure to properly dispose of these items. If this debris makes its way to open spaces, it can interfere with the growth of native grasses and weed management. Fertilize your lawn to replenish nutrients that were likely stripped during winter using a slow release fertilizer, which minimizes the number of annual applications needed, followed by a short weeding and deadheading session to make sure last year’s plants are ready for the season ahead. The best time to mow is mid-morning around 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 am, which ensures that the overnight condensation has dried, and the temperature is still low enough that your lawnmower won’t overheat. Set your mower height to three inches or above; leaving grass longer can prevent drought stress and help minimize weed growth.

Infuse your yard with colorful flowers to provide food for insects like bees, wasps and butterflies! The best time to begin your flower garden is late spring (mid-May to June) in order to avoid any late snow storms Colorado may send our way. You can discover landscaping inspiration on The Lakes’ Green Thumb Pinterest board.

However large or small your yard, it has the potential to become a piece of the living, breathing ecosystem that is The Lakes. Grab your gardening gear and let’s get growin’!

Upcoming Events

August
24
Sat. Aug 24, 2019
Children’s Event: Scavenger Hunt & Nature Walk

Join us at the High Plains Environmental Center for a Scavenger Hunt and Nature Walk! A Scavenger Hunt Bingo board will be provided to guide the walk. Wander the trails, scout for wildlife, and be with the wildflowers! Journey with us as we look, listen, smell, feel, and even taste all that nature has to […]

When
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where
2698 Bluestem Willow Drive
Loveland, CO 80538
September
7
Sat. Sep 7, 2019
Bird Walk with Sheila Webber

Whether you’re a seasoned birder or an amateur, join Sheila Webber for a bird walk around Equalizer lake! Walking will be at a slow pace on approximately 2 miles of level walking paths. Consider bringing binoculars and a field guide to enhance your birding experience.The Bird Walk group will meet in front of the HPEC […]

When
8:00 - 10:00 AM
Where
2698 Bluestem Willow Drive
Loveland, CO 80538
September
8
Sun. Sep 8, 2019
NoCo HBA Parade of Homes

The Parade of Homes recognizes the achievements of local builders and remodelers, and showcases innovations in building, new home features and local trends. Homes across Northern Colorado are open to the public on September 6-8 and 13-15 from 10AM to 5PM. At The Lakes at Centerra, the following homes will be featured on the Parade: […]

When
10am-5pm
Where
4555 Long Pine Lake Drive
Loveland , CO 80538

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