Landscaping Thornton, CO

Thornton, CO, is a small city that straddles the counties of Weld and Adams. Statistics from city-data.com show that Thornton had a population of 130,307 by the end of 2014. In addition, the US Decennial Census figures show that the city had 41,359 households and 30,254 families as of June 4, 2015. Unlike congested urban centers, Thornton, CO, has plenty of open space and boasts of more than 80 miles of trails spread across 81 city parks. Thornton also has shopping malls, health facilities, and learning institutions. As such, the city is an ideal location for both residential and commercial landscaping projects. That said, here are some of the key considerations when planning a landscaping project in Thornton, CO.

Landscaping Thornton CO – Licensed landscaper

To start with, hire a Thornton landscape company that has complied with all the relevant regulations including acquiring an operating license from the Colorado State Board of Landscape Architects. Furthermore, make sure the landscaping company has qualified and experienced employees. You can verify the validity of a business license by contacting the Colorado Secretary of State or visiting the Secretary of State site at www.sos.state.co.us. This is important because an unlicensed landscaper may be unable to acquire landscaping permits from Thornton city authorities.

Landscaping Thornton CO

Landscaping Thornton CO – Landscape design

Your landscaper should create a landscaping design that suits your needs and complies with the local zoning ordinances. More specifically, your landscaper should identify suitable landscaping locations (front, backyard), select suitable plants (trees, grass, or flowers), determine the inanimate features to install (sidewalks, lighting systems, entertainment areas, and water bodies), and identifying where to install irrigation systems. Some landscaping companies use sophisticated software to create digital visualizations of landscaping projects. Such software not only enables a client to visualize how the landscaped areas will look like once the project is complete, but also allows the client to make changes to the landscape design before work commences. You should also consider plant colors, blooming/flowering cycles, and growth properties such as size when fully grown and lifetime.

Landscaping Thornton CO – Landscaping and zoning regulations

Before plunging into physical landscaping work in Thornton, CO, ensure that your project complies with all the relevant zoning and landscaping regulations. For instance, it is illegal to grow state-listed noxious plants including velvetleaf, chicory, bull thistle, Johnson grass, African rue, scentless chamomile, Mediterranean sage, and salt cedar. The Colorado Native Plant Society has a list of native plant species that comply with these regulations and adapt well to Colorado’s variable climate and soils. The US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service also has a comprehensive list of plants banned throughout the US.It is also worth noting that front, side, or backyard landscaping acreage is determined during the permit review process. This is according to the development standards set under Thornton’s municipal Code of Ordinances. Additionally, it is worth noting that can apply for a temporary use permit to erect or install temporary plants such as Christmas trees. Since these ordinances and regulations are probably beyond the scope of the average person, you should hire a landscaper with in-depth knowledge of these laws.

Landscaping Thornton CO – Watering restrictions

Since Colorado has a semi-arid climate, you would need to water your landscaping plants frequently. As such, ensure the watering requirements of your landscaping project comply with the local water usage restrictions. For example, the City of Thornton requires residents to observe a two-day per week lawn watering cycle. A third watering day is allowed only during extremely hot weather. Residents of Colorado are also encouraged to water their plants during cooler hours of the day (before 10am and after 6pm) to reduce water/moisture loss via evaporation. Fortunately, the City of Thornton offers rebates to homeowners who install or upgrade to water-efficient fixtures. If you have already installed an automatic irrigation system, you can contact the city of Thornton’s Center for Resource Conservation (CRC) and schedule an appointment with a technician to help you conserve water while still keeping your lawn/plants green and healthy.

Landscaping Thornton CO

Landscaping Thornton CO – Artificial grass installation

If you lack the time or resources to take care of a natural lawn, you could opt for an artificial turf. Nevertheless, an artificial turf would still require periodic maintenance including raking and replenishing filler material. Furthermore, an artificial turf is unlikely to last as long as a natural lawn. In fact, data from the Division of Agriculture based at the University of Arkansas shows that artificial turf requires replacing every 8 to 10 years and the maintenance costs can run up to more than $100,000 annually (for a football field-sized lawn) depending on the quality of the synthetic turf material. In comparison, the cost of maintaining a similarly sized lawn with natural grass is significantly lower at about $34,000 over the same period.

Landscaping Thornton CO – Soil testing

Before installing natural landscaping features, it is advisable to undertake thorough soil testing to determine the soil type, pH and mineral content. The soil test results will also help you create a good watering schedule, as well as a good fertilizer/manure application program. Additionally, you should loosen compacted soil to ensure optimum root penetration. According to the University of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, a lawn can have different soil types, meaning soil samples should be collected from different parts. If the landscaping location slopes steeply, consider installing features to prevent soil erosion.

Landscaping Thornton CO – Pest and disease management

Pest control and management is a vital component of any landscaping project. Some of the common diseases that may affect your softscape elements include powdery mildew, ascochyta leaf blight, leaf spot, and dollar spot while common tree bugs include elm leaf beetle, ash sawfly, aphids, honey locust, peach tree borer, poplar borer, kermes scale, oyster shell scale, and hawthorn mealy bug. Bugs that attack flowers include aphids, earwigs, thrips, spider mites, geranium budworm, fungus gnats, army cutworm, and bumble bees. Luckily, most of these pests and diseases can be controlled using pesticides or organic pest management techniques such as introduction of parasitic nematodes.


Some of the key factors to consider when planning a commercial or residential landscaping project in Thornton, CO, include pest and disease management, the pros and cons of installing an artificial turf, lawn/plant watering restrictions, soil condition, and the relevant zoning and landscaping regulations/ordinances.


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