Growing perfect edibles is a gardeners dream and you can grow amazing crops with our easy tips and suggestions. Get ready for your gardening season and start growing your own food today!
Tips on how to Grow Vegetables in Colorado
Sun: Be sure garden receives at least 6 hours of sun every day
Soil Preparation: Amend well with soil pep, organic material, compost, or peat moss
Fertilizers: Add superphosphate 0-18-0 or bone meal 0-10-0.
Crop Rotation: Prevents disease, three year cycles are best, especially for tomatoes and corn
Row Orientation: Run rows east to west with tallest crops on north rows
Root Stimulator: Helps roots avoid shock and enhances growth of hair roots
Hardened off: Slowly adjusted to outdoor sun and temperature, takes 3-4 days
Mulch: Add mulch between rows to control weeds, conserve moisture and even out temperature swings, mulch after the soil warms up later in spring
Perennials (berries, asparagus, rhubarb) – need own section so roots will not be disturbed
Small gardens: Eliminate space hogs (squash, melons)
Space savers: Use trellises, stakes, frames, fences (beans, cucumbers, peas)
Continuous harvest: Plant cool season crops (carrots, lettuce, cabbage, peas) in early spring. Harvest the crops, rework the soil, plant broccoli and cauliflower.
Succession planting: Crops with shorter growing season may be planted 2 weeks apart to give a continuous supply or plant the same veggie with different maturity dates.
Double cropping: Raise a second crop in same spot in the same season after the first crop has been completely harvested (radishes, lettuce, green onions)
Intercropping – 2 crops may occupy the same space if one matures before the slower one crowds it out (green onions mature and may be pulled before cabbage fills its space). Spinach, lettuce, green onions and radishes are good cool season intercrops. They work nicely with tomatoes.
French intensive gardening: Relies on close planting in wide mounted beds to conserve moisture, thus promoting steady abundant growth. You will need thorough soil preparation
Raised Beds: Build a box with timbers or rock wall to raise the garden off of ground level. Need good drainage and at least 12-18″ depth of soil and 4-5 feet wide.
Double Digging: Worth the work. Dig a trench one spade deep and set the soil alongside the trench. Dig another spade deep while mixing the soil amendment in this lower soil. Dig a second trench alongside the first one. Mix soil amendment with soil and top off the first trench. Dig another spade depth in this second trench and mix soil amendment with it. Continue on until the area is the size you wish. Soil level will be raised several inches.
HINT: Be sure to work backwards so you do not tromp on the nice fluffy soil
Common Problems When Growing a Vegetable Garden
Having insects in your plants can be frustrating. Many times you will have to create a better environment for the plant to be able to save it and get rid of the insect. Visit our Insect & Disease Control Page to learn more about it.
Some examples are:
- Fungus gnats
- Spider Mite
- Blossom End Rot
- Cabbage lopper
- Powdery Mildew
- Flea Beetles
- Tomato Hornworm
Gulley Greenhouse recommends Triple Action Plus Ready to Use Spray for most of the common problems in vegetables and edibles, it is safe for vegetables (spray 18 hrs. prior harvesting)
*ALWAYS read chemicals labels prior to use.
Insects and pests are common in any garden. Try to avoid over-watering and keep humidity low. Fertilize and rotate your crops to increase plant strength and the bugs will have a lesser chance of surviving in your garden. Look at our Insect & Disease Control Page to learn more about it.
Some ways to control your garden pests are:
- Planting a diverse selection of plants and utilizing companion plants, will keep plants healthy.
- Encourage desirable insects like lady bugs, lacewings, parasitic wasps and praying mantids. They, as well as birds and animals, eat harmful bugs.
- Keep lower leaves off the ground and remove any diseased leaves or plants.
- For vegetable gardens, rotate crops every year.
- Chemicals do not work when there is standing water on leaves.
Best Herbs to Grow in Northern Colorado
Growing herbs in Colorado is a rewarding experience. Herbs like the dry environment and if you keep their roots in the dry side, they will perform fantastic here. Beside using herbs in our kitchens, herbs are an amazingly effective way to heal common ailments…the natural way! Here are six common (and easy to grow) herbs that we think you will find handy to have right outside your kitchen door.
A tension taming herb that relaxes the muscles of the digestive track, with a memory boosting scent.
Packing more than 42 times the antioxidant power of an apple, oregano protects against heart disease and cancer.
This citrus-flavored herb’s active ingredients are thymol and carvacrol, oils that relax the muscles of the respiratory tract.
This herb boasts a delicious dose of vitamins A and C which help prevent serious illness by foiling free radicals.
Dill is packed with carvone, a digestive aid that inhibits growth of spasm-causing bacteria in the intestinal tract. Also has a calming effect.