The Utility Notification Center of Colorado
Get Ready for Fall with this Fall Planting Guide

We are almost a month away from the first day of fall. This season allows for interesting and unique plants to grow in your garden during the later parts of the year. You know to always call before you dig, though do you know what to plant in the fall? Read below to learn more about a variety of fall planting options.  

What to Plant in the Fall

Planting isn’t just a spring activity. If you’re wondering what you can plant in the fall, the answer is almost anything. Here are six plant types to put in the ground during the fall.

Spring may be special, but fall is fine for planting. Turfgrass, spring-blooming bulbs, cool-season vegetables, perennials, trees, and shrubs can all be effectively planted in the fall.

Fall has distinct planting benefits. Autumn’s cooler air temperatures are easier on both plants and gardeners. The soil is still warm, allowing roots to grow until the ground freezes. In spring, plants don’t grow until the soil warms up.

Fall has more good days for planting than spring does, when rain and other unpredictable weather can make working the soil impossible. And there’s a lot more free time for gardening in autumn than in always-frantic spring.

Plus, the late season is usually bargain time at garden centers that are trying to sell the last of their inventory before winter.

Fall showers are generally plentiful, but it’s easy to deeply water plants if it doesn’t rain at least an inch per week.

Pests and disease problems fade away in the fall. You don’t need fertilizer, either. Fertilizer promotes new, tender growth that can be nipped by winter weather; stop fertilizing by late summer.

The window for fall planting ends about six weeks before your area gets hit with a hard frost, usually September or October.

Use this list for fall planting inspiration.

Fall is the best time to plant pansies because the still-warm soil temperatures give their roots time to establish. By planting in fall, you’ll get two seasons of enjoyment out of these cool-season favorites. Remove spent flowers so the plant doesn’t use its energy to set seeds, and keep the soil moist. After the soil freezes, mulch plants to prevent alternate freezing and thawing cycles that can heave plants out of the ground. Learn how to select and grow pansies.

Cool-Season Vegetables 
Many vegetables thrive in cool weather, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, radishes, rutabaga, spinach, and Swiss chard.

Many fall-harvested crops should be planted in early August to give them enough time to mature. Always consult the seed packet to see how many days it takes until maturity, and count backward from your frost date to allow enough time.

Lettuce, spinach, and other greens with a short maturity time can be planted later in the season. Extend the growing season by planting them under floating row covers or cold frames that will shield plants from frost but still allow light, air, and water to penetrate.

Many root crops taste sweeter when they’re harvested after frost.
Learn more about cool-season crops.

Trees and Shrubs
Fall is an ideal time to plant trees and shrubs. The weather is cool but the soil is still warm enough for root development. Before digging, always check with your local utility companies to locate any underground lines. Always plant trees and shrubs at their natural soil lines. Keep newly planted trees or shrubs well watered until the ground freezes so they get a good start before going into full dormancy during winter.
Learn more about planting trees and shrubs.

Read the full article here: What to Plant in the Fall

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By Harriet
811 Day is a Good Reminder to Always Call Before You Dig

Today is a good reminder to always call before you dig. Every property owner in Colorado should know the utility location services number, 811. 

Planning on digging? Call 811 first


Colorado Springs Utilities wants to remind its customers to contact 811 prior to digging, no matter the equipment or tool being used, or size of the project.

CSU says a large percentage of its electric, natural gas, water and wastewater mains, and service lines are underground and out of sight, and very dangerous if exposed or damaged.
“Many of our customers are installing fences, planting trees or shrubs, and laying patios, all examples of digging projects that require 811 notification,” said Shelly Dornick, Springs Utilities Damage Prevention Program Administrator.
And now, contacting 811 is easier than ever. Simply click, or if you prefer, call 811.

Read the full article here: Colorado Springs Utilities urging residents to call 811 before digging

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By Harriet
Kids Interested in Gardening? Here are Some Tips to Get Them Started!

Gardening is something many coloradans enjoy and it’s an activity that the whole family can enjoy. Getting them started early is a fun way to let them play in the dirt while they also learn about different plants. As you teach children about yard work, be sure to teach them to always call 811 during any digging project! 

Little Green Thumbs 
When it comes to gardening, kids can’t wait to dig in. Here are some ideas to help them get growing.

Children gravitate to gardening for some very basic reasons: Dirt. Water. Hole-digging. To which I’d add, from my experience with two boys: Food. And bugs. (Not that they should ever be confused.) And they like the flowers.

Sure, kids love to see seeds sprout, then leaf out and eventually bear flowers or tempting berries or tiny tomatoes. But that takes time—and ten minutes can seem an eternity to little people with short attention spans. So if you want your kids to get excited about the plant part of gardening, look for projects with an easy payoff.

Aim for Fast Gratification
If you’re going to start seeds indoors, you can create a perfect starter nursery using the bottom of a cardboard egg container (and teach a useful lesson about recycling while you’re at it) and a starter soil mix. Or use peat pots—the compressed ones that expand with water like those magic sponges are a fun bonus.

Go for plants that germinate quickly, like radishes, even if you don’t like them—they come up in three or four days. If you get started in early spring, you’ll have to acclimate the seedlings to the outdoors for a few hours a day before you plant them; just cut the egg carton containers apart to separate the plants. Like the peat pots, the little cardboard forms can go right in the ground, where they will decompose as the plants grow.

If seeds are too slow, buy small nursery plants to give your garden a head start. Some easy-to-grow flowers include marigolds, nasturtium, ageratum, marigolds, bachelor’s buttons, cosmos, alyssum and zinnias. Equally easy vegetables include zucchini, peas, cucumber, carrots, and tomatoes.

If you have space to spare, consider giving your kids their own garden plot, so you can keep yours intact. If space is an issue, plant in containers; most plants will do equally well in pots.

Plant for All the Senses
Grow your own tasty vegetable soup in a patch with tomatoes, beans, carrots, squash—they say kids are more likely to eat what they grow and cook. It might encourage them to try new foods (it hasn’t worked in my veggie-averse house, but I live in hope). For fun, mix some rocks and pebbles into a container of soil and plant some full-size carrots. When they encounter these obstacles, the carrots will branch out into crazy shapes—great fun to unearth!

Create a pizza garden, with plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, rosemary, oregano, basil, onions and garlic. You can even plant them in a round plot, divided into triangular “slices”.

Make room for some “fairy berries.” These tiny alpine strawberries do well in pots and borders. Watch for white flowers that are followed by tiny tart fruits that little hands love to gather.

Read the full article here: Little Green Thumbs

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By Harriet
2017 811 Day Golf Tournament

811 Day Golf Flyer 2017.Final

Join Colorado 811, Xcel Energy and the Denver Metro Damage Prevention Council for the 811 Day Golf Tournament on Saturday August 5, 2017 at the Riverdale Knolls Golf Course. Registration starts at 6:30am with a start time of 7:30 am. For questions please contact Heath Buster at [email protected].

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By Whitney Cregger
SUMMER 2017 – Vol.3 Issue 4

811 Day – 811 Run, 5k Run/Walk

Don’t forget to register for the second annual 811 Run on Saturday, August 12th at the Apex Center in Arvada. This family friendly (that includes your pups) 5k run/walk will educate you about 811/Call Before You Dig.

Registration is only $8.11 – this includes a running shirt, 811 cape, breakfast and giveaways. Don’t miss out, register here Not a runner? Help support the event by volunteering, click here for more information.

Expedite is Now Available for Excavator Members

 Colorado 811 is excited to announce the launch of their newest damage prevention software, available exclusively for all CO811 Excavator Members. Expedite allows users to manage locate tickets and positive responses in one centrally organized place. Expedite helps Excavator Members view all tickets that were called into 811 or processed online by one or all employees, on any browser and any device, when the same phone number or business name is used.

Expedite Requirements:

  • The company must be registered with Colorado 811 as an Excavator Member, annual membership fee of $100.00
  • Expedite is intended solely for professional excavators
  • The user will accept responsibility and liability for all functions preformed in Expedite

Download the Excavator Membership application here.

As an Excavator Member you have representation on Colorado 811’s Board of Directors under the excavator category. This will allow you to vote for the Excavator Director and even run to represent your peers on the Colorado 811 Board of Directors.

It’s important to have Excavator representation on the Colorado 811 Board of Directors to know other excavators, hear their point of view and have a voice. Your Excavator Director can be a resource to you and also listen and coach to help in resolving industry issues and make advancements in damage prevention.

Fore more information on Excavator Membership and Expedite, please contact Colorado 811’s Member Services Department at [email protected]. The Excavator Board of Director is Toni Pascal with Pascal Construction, she can be reached at [email protected].

Colorado 811 Takes on Ride the Rockies
Colorado 811 Ride the Rockies team (from left to right): Marty Mead, Colorado 811 Director of Damage Prevention, Greg Ralph, Purgatory Resort, April Prout – Ralph, Colorado 811 Damage Prevention Liaison, Pat Mead, Comcast, J.D. Maniscalco, Colorado 811 CEO.

Climbing mountains for seven consecutive days on two wheels is no small feat for any athlete, that includes the Colorado 811 Ride the Rockies cycling team. Ride the Rockies is an annual bike tour that brings approximately 2,000 riders together on a seven-day grueling ride over Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. For the fifth year in a row Colorado 811 secured a spot in this monumental cycling event.

The riders kicked off day one by riding from Alamosa to Pagosa Springs with a fierce headwind that continued throughout the day. Day two was Pagosa to Durango where the CO811 team was greeted by Damage Prevention Liaison, April Prout-Ralph. April and her husband Greg hosted the team at their house in Durango for the next few days. Day three was the Durango Loop that headed west out of town, to Hesperus and then around Lake Nighthorse with a fast descent into town. On day four the riders where met with three mountain passes when they rode from Durango to Ridgeway. Day five was a short ride of 32.4 miles which gave everyone a chance for their legs to recover, while enjoying a beer at a local brewery. On day six the route took the cyclists from Montrose to Gunnison and on the last day, day seven, they made the strenuous ride over Monarch Pass into Salida with a much needed tailwind to push them to the finish line.

Nominations and Voting for Board of Directors 

On July 14th nomination emails and letter went out to members of the below categories requesting  each of our members to nominate someone in their category that would like to be part of the Colorado 811 Board of Directors.1.  Cable TV – Frank Trujillo (Comcast)
2.  Communications – Thomas Sturmer (Centurylink)
3.  Electric Co-op – Cody O’Neil (Holy Cross Energy)
4.  Electric Distribution – Brad Vitale (Xcel Energy)
5.  Government – Gary Behlen (Town of Erie)
6.  Excavator Director – Toni Pascal (Pascal Construction Company) – ONE YEAR TERM
7.  Tier Two – Eddie Hernandez (Denver Water) – ONE YEAR TERMNominations end August 7, 2017.Please contact Jen Wilson [email protected] if you did not receive this email/letter and are currently in one of these categories.

Damage Prevention Agent, John Tendell Retires from CO811

Colorado 811 celebrated the retirement of Damage Prevention Agent, John Tendell on June 30, 2017. John’s journey with CO811 started after he retired from the military in 2006. John is an all-around people person, who radiates positivity with everyone he interacts with. John’s impact on damage prevention could be seen and heard nationwide, this was demonstrated in a song he wrote and produced called “The 811 Song”, which was shared with industry stakeholders at the 2013 Common Ground Alliance Conference and Expo. John plans on returning to the south with his wife Ethel and pursuing his passion of music.


Targeted Attacks on Utility Infrastructure
Paradigm Table Top Event

Colorado 811, in conjunction with Paradigm Liaison Services, will host a pipeline safety and awareness program that will include critical emergency response for threats against our national pipeline system. This table top event will be targeted to emergency responders. For more information on this event please contact Brent Sumner at [email protected].

Event location and date to be determined. 



Upcoming Events

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By vmaniscalco
It’s not fall yet, but it’s time to plant your fall vegetable garden!

There is something very special about fall in Colorado. The leaves are stunning and the gardens are full. In Colorado you must always call before you dig, so get your tickets in early if your garden will require any type of digging project. 

It’s Already Time to Plan your Fall Vegetable Garden 

Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning your fall vegetable garden. Really.

Time waits for no gardener, especially when it comes to the fast-flying days of summer. If you want to keep harvesting fresh vegetables long after other gardeners are relaxing on the couch, you’ll need to start soon.

Cool-season vegetables help extend the gardening season, especially if they can be ready to harvest in about 60-80 days. The easiest method is to buy transplants of fall crops, although seeds work for some veggies, too.

The key to fall gardening success is selecting vegetables with the shortest time to maturity and then timing the planting. The goal is to make sure vegetables are ready to harvest before the really cold weather arrives.

Use a calendar to count back from the date of the average first frost for your area and match that to the number of days to maturity for each fast-growing vegetable you want to plant.

In Denver the average is around the first week in October, though it can be earlier or later. If 60-day broccoli is planted in mid-July, plan for a late September harvest. (Plants will be slower-growing than in summer.)

Other fall vegetable choices include beets, carrots, radishes, kohlrabi, parsnips and peas. Look for varieties that are promoted as cold-tolerant.

Read the full article here: It’s already time to plan your fall vegetable garden

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By Harriet
Tough Soil Turned Gardening Gold: How to Grow a Successful Garden in Colorado

Gardening in Colorado changes depending on what region of the state you are in. In general, soil is tough and it can be hard to find the motivation to grow a sustainable garden. The steps required to start a garden may look intimidating, but after your first harvest it will all be worth it. First, make sure to call utility location services (811) to ensure no buried utility lines will be hit. Second, choose the perfect combination of seeds that you want to grow. Third, actually plant those seeds and watch them go! A vital part of any garden is having the perfect soil. Read below about how to turn that rough Colorado soil into gardening gold! 

How to turn Colorado’s tough soil into gardening gold

As any Colorado gardener who has put shovel to dirt can tell you, the hard clay here is a challenge under the best of circumstances. But with much of the topsoil gone, it was near-impossible.

“We started with something like pottery,” Wann says. “We couldn’t get a Rototiller in during the early years. It was sun-baked clay and sandy.”

Often, some digging and a couple of trips to the garden store is enough to get started. Even so, one thing holds true of both monumental and simple garden experiences: the soil continues to get better with time and effort. That’s important, especially with organic gardens, because building a loose, fertile soil is a major factor in garden success.

“Sometimes, it takes three to five years of adding organic matter to get decent planting,” he says. “It’s not that you can’t plant each year, but that it gets better each year.”

For gardeners converting a spot in their yards, he suggests renting or buying a tiller to break up the ground if you’re planning a good-sized space or if you don’t have the time or energy to use a shovel.


In Colorado especially, compost is the gardener’s friend. While you may compost food scraps at home, it’s hard for the average family to produce enough to amend the soil in their garden. You can buy compost, though, and Smith suggests adding compost to break up the soil and add organic matter. Till the soil after adding to mix the compost in well. Repeat with a couple of inches of compost each year. If the soil you start with seems particularly unpromising, add both purchased garden soil and compost.


Smith suggests adding a granular fertilizer with the compost each year before planting and tilling it or digging it to root-depth in the soil. He also advises gardeners to use a water-soluble liquid fertilizer for the plants during the growing season. Gardeners may choose organic or non-organic options.

Read the full article here:
 How to turn Colorado’s tough soil into gardening gold – The Denver Post

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By Harriet
Don’t be a conductor … of electricity

Electricity flows through water almost as easily as it travels through the wire that brings electricity to your house. Your body is made up of 60-70 percent water, so if you touch electricity it will flow through you and you will be badly hurt.

Understanding that contact with electricity can result in serious injury or even death should inspire people to do everything possible to avoid incidental contact with it. But many don’t think twice about the potential hazards of contacting an electrical line.

There are dozens of ways that you can check for electrical hazards to help prevent personal injury. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe:

  • ALWAYS assume that electric lines and equipment are energized, even when overhead lines are lying on the ground and/or equipment is damaged.
  • Before working outside, always look up and all around for overhead electric lines.
  • Keep yourself and any tool you’re using at least 10 feet away from overhead electric lines and carry all tools horizontally, especially ladders.
  • If a fallen power line is resting on or near your vehicle, stay in the vehicle until first responders clear the scene.
  • NEVER swim in or near marinas, docks, boatyards, or anywhere electricity is provided near water, as the electrical current could cause electric shock drowning.
  • Don’t overload your home’s electrical circuits and”>know the warning signsto watch for.
  • ALWAYS call 811 before you dig to learn where utility-owned lines and equipment are buried so you can safely dig around them.
  • Call 911 first in an emergency, then Xcel Energy at 1.800.895.1999.

You can never be too safe when it comes to electricity, knowing where an underground wire location is near your home becomes a quick and easy way to eliminate the possibility of danger.

Read the original article here: Don’t be a conductor … of electricity – Xcel Energy Connect Blog

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By Harriet
Weld County Damage Prevention Golf Tournament

WCDPC 2017 Golf Flyer.Final

Join the Weld County Damage Prevention Council for their 10th annual damage prevention golf tournament on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at Eaton Country Club. Click here to download the team registration form.

Entry fees are due with completed team registration forms no later than September 20, 2017. Please make checks payable to Weld County DPC and mail with registration to WCDPC P.O. Box 200457 Evans, CO 80620. Registration forms can be sent to Russ Hartley at [email protected].

For questions please contact Russ Hartley at (970) 304-2042 or Darrel Vanhooser at (303) 875-4768.

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By Whitney Cregger
Utility locaters kept hopping by booming Colorado Springs economy

An economic growth trifecta of new-home construction, voter-approved road rehabilitation, and remodeling projects has produced a flood of calls for underground locater services.

“The Colorado Springs economy is booming, and we’re certainly feeling it,” said Sean Daugherty, customer care field supervisor for locating for city-owned Colorado Springs Utilities. It is great news that Colorado utility locate tickets have been increasing since last year. 

By law, property owners and contractors are required to have utilities flagged before a shovel or backhoe hits the dirt on anything from installing a fence and planting trees to adding a garage or deck.

Requests for the free program are increasing in leaps and bounds, Daugherty said.

“We’re on track to more than surpass 2016 numbers,” he said.

The department fielded 68,490 residential and commercial calls last year through the state’s 811 hotline. That was 10,000 requests above the totals for 2015 and 2014, Daugherty said.

It’s the same story statewide, said Whitney Cregger, spokeswoman for Colorado 811. The nonprofit Utility Notification Center of Colorado, based in Golden, operates the state’s call center, which is also known as Colorado 811.

Notifications for locater services throughout the state increased 9 percent last year over 2015, Cregger said, and are up 4.5 percent this year through May.

Read the full article here: Utility locaters kept hopping by booming Colorado Springs economy

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By Harriet