By Michael Abeyta

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – During the pandemic, many Coloradans took up new hobbies like gardening. Colette Haskell a Certified Colorado Nursery Professional at Nick’s Garden Center in Aurora has seen the increased traffic at the store with her own eyes.

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“We’ve gained like 3 million new gardeners this year in the last two years now that people are home and they’re enjoying their own space more,” she said.

Any gardener in the Centennial state knows growing in Colorado has its challenges. The first is trying to figure out when to plant to avoid a freeze.

“We are a temperate climate, so we have a really late spring compared to you know California,” said Haskell.

Most Coloradans know there’s a pretty good rule of thumb your gardens will live or die by.

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“Once we have Mother’s Day it’s usually a go. We can usually plan to do everything,” said Haskell.

This year in addition to the possibility of a late spring frost, Coloradans are facing a drought. April, usually Colorado’s rainiest month saw little to no precipitation.

Now major cities like Denver have implemented watering restrictions. So, if you are planning on planting a garden in a week you may have to really think about what you should plant and reconsider what may be in your yard already.

“Our big water waster is lawns. You know a lawn needs 50 something inches of water to be green in Denver. So that’s a lot of water,” Haskell said.

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However, a water wise yard doesn’t mean a desert scape. You can have a “showy” yard if you know what to plant.

“A lot of our annuals and vegetables are not going to be drought tolerant. Things that we plant in pots that we plant annually that are show off plants if you will, you know they’re not that drought tolerant. Where shrubs, trees, grasses, you know those are things you’re going to find more native and more water wise,” said Haskell.

Michael Abeyta