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Tips on How to Grow Vegetables in Colorado

Planting


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)

Planting Options

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

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