Your Watershed / Lawn Alternatives

Lawn Alternatives

Roaring Fork Conservancy and Basalt Regional Library partnered together in summer of 2022 to test different eco-friendly solutions to lawn maintenance.  


Why think about replacing your turf lawn?

On average, watering a lawn for 1 hour 
uses 1,020 gallons of water - watering 3x a week uses 12,240 gallons a month.*
 This equals almost 291 bathtubs of water per week!** 

If you visited the test site at the Basalt Regional Library, you might have seen and felt that there is little difference between Kentucky Bluegrass and Turf-type tall fescue. However, turf-type tall fescue requires less maintenance (in regards to water, fertilizer, sunlight, aeration) and has greater tolerance to weather, foot traffic, weeds and pests. Therefore, in Western Colorado, turf-type tall fescue is a better option in regards to lawn maintenance.  

More details about the differences between Kentucky Bluegrass and Turf-type tall fescue can be found in the chart below:


Hardiness zone 
  • USDA zones area 1-9 

  • USDA zones are 3-8 

Speed of growth rate 
  • Germination takes 3 weeks 

  • Germination takes 1-2 weeks 

  • High maintenance with frequent mowing due to sod formations 

  • Low maintenance with less mowing due to growth in bunches 

Foot traffic tolerance 
  • Damaged by foot traffic due to shallow rhizomes but able to repair itself 

  • More tolerant to foot traffic due to deeper roots but if damaged, requires reseeding 

Sunlight requirements 
  • Needs 8 hr of direct daily sunlight 

  • Needs 4 hr of direct daily sunlight 

Shade tolerance 
  • Less heat and shade tolerance 

  • Heat and shade tolerant 

Water requirements 
  • Need 2 in per week in winter, 2½ in summer  

  • Need 1-1¼ in per week  

Vulnerability to weeds 
  • More vulnerable to weed growth 

  • More resistant to weed growth 

Dormancy rate 
  • Dormant in summer (goes brown) 

  • No dormancy 

  • Rhizomes form pods and spread quickly 

  • Grows in bunches and spreads at a minimum capacity 

Source: Gardener Pick 



Landscape Sources in the Roaring Fork Valley

Rivendell Distribution 
3961 County Road 114, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 
(970) 945-2568             


Mountain Blue Turf Farm 
393 Co Road 102, Carbondale, CO 81623 
(970) 963-3990 

Mountain Greenery
185 Southside Dr, Basalt, CO 81621 
(970) 927-1003 

Seed Sources: 

Alpine ACE Hardware 
300 Puppy Smith St, Aspen, CO 81611 
(970) 925-3031 


ACE Hardware of Carbondale 
1011 CO-133, Carbondale, CO 81623 
(970) 963-6663 


Big John’s ACE Hardware 
​​2602 S Glen Ave, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 
(970) 945-5345 

Lowe’s Home Improvement
​​215 W Meadows, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 
(970) 384-3940 


Tractor Supply Co. 
51027 Hwy 6 and 24, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 
(970) 945-5444 


Contact Us

Roaring Fork Conservancy

PHONE: (970) 927-1290

PO Box 3349
Basalt, CO 81621

22800 Two Rivers Road
Basalt, CO 81621

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