Spring is finally here and for many in Rosecrest community, this means getting lawn equipment out and fixing broken sprinklers. For those in townhomes and condos, you may be lucky enough to have your sub association do this for you. In any case, it’s a good time to remind everyone of some good spring lawn and yard care tips. We also have a specific update on a new Utah law that was recently put in place regarding water-wise landscaping or xeriscaping. See below.
Spring Landscape Maintenance Tips – As spring is here, we highly recommend that if you have a yard and/or lawn to look after that you consider the following tips to keep the yard healthy:
Aerate – If you have lawn or even in planter beds, aeration can help to penetrate the ground that has compacted over the winter, allowing water, air, and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil. This can help your lawn to grow deeper roots that will hold up better against the heat of summer.
Fertilize – Fertilizing adds a boost of nutrients to the soil to jump start your plants and lawn. Spring fertilizers help give grass a deeper green color and also promote root growth and overall health.
Weed – This time of year, weeds such as dandelions start to bloom. These can easily be treated with a broadleaf weed killer or by pulling them by hand. If you are watering less to conserve, you may see an increase in weeds on your property as the grass starts to thin out. You can stay ahead of the weeds by pulling and spraying them.
Mow & Trim – Mowing and trimming lawn, plants, and trees, is an essential activity to keep the yard looking fresh and clean.
Water – Water is an essential element of plant and lawn growth and overall health. At the beginning of the season you probably only need to water once per week. As things warm up, you might increase watering up to three times per week. Always water at night. If you have a lot of runoff, look into the “cycle and soak” method of watering to increase absorption. If you have compacted soil, a combination of aeration and soil conditioning products will also help with absorption issues.
For Townhomes and Condos – If you are in a townhome or condo and your sub association maintains the landscaping, make sure they are taking the proper steps to maintain it in an attractive manner.
New Law Regarding Water-Wise Landscaping (Xeriscaping) – A new Utah law, HB 450, went into place, amending Utah Code 57-8a-231 regarding “water-wise landscaping”, also referred to by the HOA as “xeriscaping”. Water-wise landscaping is a style of landscaping that helps to reduce the use of water for irrigation by utilizing less lawn and using water efficient plants. The new law limits the ability for homeowners associations to require homeowners maintain a certain amount of landscaping that is not considered “water-wise”. The law states that the association may not “require a property owner to: (1) install or keep in place lawn or turf in an area with a width less than eight feet; or (2) have more than 50% vegetative coverage, that is not water wise landscaping…” Read the whole section at https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title57/Chapter8A/57-8a-S231.html?v=C57-8a-S231_2023050320230503.
There has been speculation that this new law means that a single family home are now permitted to completely rip out all their landscaping and replace it with rock or mulch, without the need for any vegetation. This is not true. The new law specifically grants the right of HOAs to have design review and approval procedures as well as minimum design and maintenance criteria for landscaping within their community. In 2020 the HOA put out specific guidelines for xeriscaping. These guidelines are based on design criteria of the various water-wise programs available and still apply even with the new law in place. The guidelines require a minimum amount of grass in front yard areas as well as a minimum percentage of plant coverage in xeriscaped areas. If you have xeriscaping on your single family home property or are planning to convert parts of your yard to xeriscaping, please review the xeriscaping guidelines on the HOA’s website or homeowner portal and make sure you have a landscape plan approved by the HOA before installing the landscaping.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.