Congratulations to the following nominees who were elected to be on the 2017/2018 Colorado 811 Board of Directors:
Electric Distribution: Brad Vitale, Xcel Energy
Cable Television: Frank Trujillo, Comcast
Electric Cooperative: Cody O’Neil, Holy Cross Energy
Communications: Thomas Sturmer, Century Link
Government: Gary Behlen, Town of Erie
Tier Two: Eddie Hernandez, Denver Water
Excavator Director: Toni Pascal, Pascal Construction Company
To contact any of the Colorado 811 Board of Directors, click here.
The CGA Data Reporting and Evaluation Committee (DREC) met to discuss changes to the 2018 DIRT Field Form. The purpose of the 2018 DIRT changes are to streamline, encourage more participation, respond to user community feedback, clarify questions and enhance analysis.
To view the detailed presentation of the 2018 changes and enhancements, click here.
Click here to learn more about Colorado DIRT.
NUCA Member $175; NonMember $200
NUCA of Colorado is offering the OSHA 10 Hour Training designed for all employees involved in construction work, including job foremen, superintendents, engineers and any personnel involved in underground projects.
According to OSHA 20 CFR 1026.21(b)(2), “The employer shall instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.” The OSHA 10 Hour Outreach Program provides the desired general safety training for construction workers to help facilitate this requirement.
OSHA 10 Hour Training Topics: Introduction to OSHA, OSHA Focus Four Hazards, Fall Protection, Electrical, Struck by (falling objects, trucks, cranes), Caught in/between (trench hazards, equipment), PPE and Lifesaving Equipment, Health Hazards in Construction, Trench & Excavation, Permit Required Confined Space, Two Hours of Elective Topics (based upon class consensus)
Register Online below (if you register more than just 1 person, put the names of the other attendees in the comments section)
Or Register using the Class Flyer
Ah, gardening. Some say it’s not for everyone, but with gardening, you can do a lot with a little. Whether or not you happen to have a green thumb, you can easily turn your front yard into a beautiful piece of horticultural art.
Gardening can be a relaxing activity. It gets you outdoors and can boost your mood, and the results can be very satisfying. But according to Realty Today, a well-thought-out and well-executed garden can also increase your property’s value. Appraisal Institute President Richard L. Borges II says, “If a landscaping change is positive, it can often enhance price and reduce a home’s time on the market.” It does this by:
Even if you’re not planning on selling anytime soon, increasing your property’s value is always a great idea.
When someone says “garden,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Rows of cornstalks or tomato plants? Vegetable gardens are one option, but many other types of gardens exist that can beautify residential landscapes. Some types of gardens to consider include:
The short answer is yes. There’s even an international organization called Food Not Lawns that advocates it. But there’s a longer answer to consider before plowing up your yard and planting a full-blown vegetable crop.
Start by researching the local laws. Townships, counties and cities each may have rules about municipal gardening. These can include limits on:
If you belong to a homeowners association (HOA), check the rules to see if front-yard vegetable gardens are allowed. Many HOAs enact rules that prohibit vegetable gardens in the front yard because they want to set a standard for beautiful landscaping that keeps property values up. Other HOAs may have restrictions on the types of plants you can grow.
Regardless of what the rules are, you should abide by them to prevent decreasing the value of your home. If you just can’t resist the rebel call and want to give front-yard veggie gardening a try anyway, you can use a little creativity and probably get away with it without devaluing your home.
Cristina Santiestevan, aka “The Outlaw Gardener,” reminds us that when you garden in the front yard, “you aren’t the only one who will be seeing your tomatoes and peppers.” Cristina gives these tips for dealing with HOAs if you want to pursue a front-yard vegetable garden, even when it breaks Santiestevan the rules:
Read the full article here: How to Turn Your Front Yard into a Garden – ZING Blog by Quicken Loans http://bit.ly/2wjUxeU
Certain trees and shrubs can cause damage in around septic tanks and drain fields with their aggressive roots. Which plants were the worst to grow over a septic system and which are safer choices?
Do not become so paranoid over the potential of damage to septic systems caused by roots that you abstain from planting these areas altogether. Growing the right kind of vegetation here is not only permissible but actually advisable.
Plants will prevent erosion and suck up some of the excess moisture from the drain field.
Perennials, annuals, small, non-woody ground covers, and grasses (including ornamental grasses) work best around your septic tank and drain field because their shallow root systems are less likely to invade the underground system and cause it damage. There are, of course, innumerable examples of such plants, so you will want to narrow down your choices. A good way to start is to consider growing conditions:
It is not safe to grow (and eat) food crops in the ground around a drain field because eating them might entail ingesting harmful bacteria.
If you must grow trees and shrubs, shallow-rooted kinds are better to grow around septic tank drain fields. Shallow-rooted trees and shrubs include:
Generally, avoid planting large, fast-growing trees. But, in addition, some of the worst offenders are trees and shrubs with root systems that aggressively seek out sources of water. They are not fussy about the water source they tap into, meaning the pipes in your septic tank drain field are very much fair game. Weeping willow trees are a notorious example. There are many trees and shrubs to avoid, but here is a small sampling:
Let’s say you have avoided growing any of the most problematic plants directly over your septic tank drain field. Are you out of the woods? No! There is still a danger posed by any large, mature trees that may be growing anywhere near your septic system.
The general rule is that such a tree needs to be as many feet away from your septic drain field as it is tall — and that is a minimum requirement. So a specimen 50 feet tall at maturity should stand at least 50 feet away. Failing that, it is possible to install root barriers to try to keep tree roots from invading your septic drain field (similar to the bamboo barriers used in controlling invasive bamboo).
It is primarily the drain field pipes that you have to worry about when planting around septic tanks. You do not want roots penetrating the perforations and gumming up the works. All of the parts of this carefully tuned system must be functioning properly, else the result is a mess — and a costly one, at that.
While annual flowers are sufficiently shallow-rooted to serve as plants for septic fields, what makes them less than ideal is that they have to be planted every year. The less gardening work you have to do in a septic tank area, the better (both for you and for the septic system). Always wear gloves when digging in a drain field to protect yourself. Never dig deeply (you could damage the system).
Read the full article here: The Best and Worst Plants to Grow Over Septic Systems http://bit.ly/2xzOmB3
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.
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 http://bit.ly/1JPofnB
COLORADO SPRINGS –
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 colorado811.org, or if you prefer, call 811.
Read the full article here: Colorado Springs Utilities urging residents to call 811 before digging http://bit.ly/2hSA6QQ
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 http://bit.ly/2wf611i