Overview of Signage

These educational signs in the Conservation Gardens at Northern Water specifically address landscape watering needs.

The first page in each sign provides a basic description of its associated landscape plot, demonstration, or study. Key highlights are included to help explain why it is included as part of the Conservation Gardens.

The middle page summarizes plot-specific watering needs by month and year: what additional watering is needed and how well it compares to water allowance and budgeting goals.

The last page provides key numbers for the associated plot, including:

  • Plant materials
  • Irrigation methods and equipment
  • Soil characteristics
  • Water management practices

Each of these four areas is important in establishing and maintaining water conserving landscapes. Focusing on just one area (such as plant materials) is a common mistake. A key objective of these signs is to help more people understand how interactive these areas can be and why neglecting any one of them could nullify otherwise good efforts. The information on the final page will help you successfully adapt these practices and methods to your own landscape: how it can be done.

QR Barcode Reader

These educational signs contain highlights from more complete documents on the web. You can access the full documents by:

To scan these QR codes, you must first have a QR reader app installed on your cell phone or tablet. Many of these are free and available through the app store for your smart device.

QR Barcode Reader

To avoid misunderstanding or confusion, these educational signs use standardized terminology from the irrigation industry. If a word or term is unfamiliar to you, simply access the Key Irrigation Terminology document using the QR barcode, URL, or link below.

Numbers for the Pros

Landscape water management should be based on a good understanding of time-proven principles. A wealth of supporting science is readily available. Information on the following four areas is provided in each sign and its associated web document to help inform, educate, and assist others to successfully adapt these best practices and methods to their own landscapes. Understanding and correctly using these key numbers can help provide attractive and enjoyable landscapes while wisely conserving our limited water resources. These four areas are:

  • plant materials,
  • irrigation methods and equipment,
  • soil characteristics, and
  • water management practices.

Each of these four areas is important in establishing and maintaining water conserving landscapes. Focusing on just one area (such as plant materials) is a common mistake. A key objective of this educational effort in the Conservation Gardens at Northern Water is to help more people understand how interactive these areas can be and why neglecting any one of them could nullify otherwise good efforts.

Smart irrigation controllers can greatly aid good landscape water management. They utilize many of these key numbers to automatically schedule needed watering of your landscape saving you the extra work.

Not sure what they all mean? You can enlist the aid of qualified professionals. Look for those holding current certifications from the Irrigation Association or the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. You can also enlist the aid of your county extension service staff.

The landscape watering needs provided by Northern Water for each plot were obtained using the dual Kc method for calculating plant water use from weather data. This method adjusts for increased evaporation from plant and soil surfaces when wetted by rain or sprinkler irrigation. It also adjusts for reduced plant transpiration when soil moisture levels become depleted. This dual Kc method provides actual plant water use. In comparison, the more common single Kc method provides plant water use under standard conditions, i.e., when soil moisture is not limited.