Time To Plant
Get Your Gardens Growing
Colorado is a hard state to start your garden in. Winter likes to sneak into spring, dumping snow and bringing colder temperatures than new plants can handle. The standard of Mother’s Day as a planting weekend doesn’t always hold in Colorado, which we witnessed this year – snow the day after Mother’s Day. As summer settles in, it’s time to start digging in the dirt, transplanting starts, and watering that soil to stimulate life! Here are some suggestions of plants that do really well in Colorado:
Some of the easiest flowers to keep in your garden are Perennials because they come back year after year with proper conditions. Plant these flowers once, and they’ll show up every year, larger than the last.
- Salvia: This tall, beautiful purple plant is a hardy Colorado native that attracts butterflies and bees. Salvia is good in full sun and partial shade, in dry soil or xeriscaped gardens, and does well in loam or sandy soils.
- Lavender: If you like purple and fragrance, Lavender is the plant for you. This resilient plant is beautiful and perfect for your garde. It’s a sturdy plant, resistant to disease and deer! Lavender does really well in almost any soil, full sun, and is drought resistant, as a result, this makes it a perfect plant for Colorado gardens.
- Echinacea: This big, bold flower adds a pop of color to your garden while attracting bees and butterflies. Echinacea comes in a variety of colors and blooms from late spring through fall, year after year. Like Salvia, Echinacea is good in loam or sandy soil, is drought tolerant, deer resistant, and has few issues with disease.
- Viola: This low growing, purple flower is a great addition to your garden. These are perfect to fill in the areas around trees and bushes. Violas do require a little more water than the previously mentioned flowers, but they do reseed freely and come back year after year with little maintenance. These flowers are best in partial sun.
- Sedum: This is a unique plant. It grows in well drained to rocky soils, which means it’s great for xeriscaped gardens or low moisture conditions. Sedum does, however, need some moisture and will need watering during dry times. Sedum does come in variety of textures and colors to spruce up your garden.
Planting a vegetable garden in Colorado is a lot of fun. The large amounts of sunlight mean plants grow quickly and vibrantly, ready to produce food. There’s just one problem: water. Rainfall in Colorado does not naturally sustain most vegetables, so you’ll need to be prepared to water your garden frequently. These are some of the best, most productive vegetables grown in Colorado.
- Squash/Zucchini: If you have a lot of sun and decent soil, squashes and zucchinis are a great, easy plant to grow. We suggest buying starts, as starting seeds can take a few weeks and push the growing season back towards fall. To transplant a squash plant, create a mound of soil about 2 feet in diameter and place the new squash plant in the middle. Once you have big leaves, pay attention and see if they start getting powdery mildew. If so, remove the big leaves if there are smaller leaves available. If the mildew persists, you’ll also need to look for other solutions like a non-fat milk spray or harsher chemicals.
- Tomatoes: The vast amount of sunlight in Colorado is perfect for tomatoes of any variety. The main issue is water! Tomatoes need a lot of water to grow properly and produce juicy fruits. Tomatoes are also susceptible to bugs and disease. The best way to deal with this is to plant marigolds around and throughout your tomato garden. Then you’ll have a spot of gold in your garden as well.
- Roots: One way to beat the summer sun is to plant roots: carrots, beets, parsnips, onions, garlic, and radishes. These do require fairly consistent watering, which is made most obvious by wilting leaves. The benefit to most of these plants is that you can eat the foliage as well. They can help spruce up your salads, adding a layer of high density nutrients that you hand picked!
- Leafy Greens: It’s hard to manage a healthy leafy green garden in Colorado because the summer sun is scorching. On the other hand, spinach, lettuce, kale, chard, collards and cabbage love the extra light. To allay the overabundance, we also recommend creating a partial sun situation with cheese cloth or an opaque plastic sheet a few feet above the garden bed. Setting up a drip irrigation system on a timer will also help keep your leafy greens satiated in the heat.
There are some great local Greenhouses growing starts for your Colorado gardens. We highly recommend The Flower Bin Garden Center & Nursery and The Tree Farm Nursery & Garden Center. If you have any questions they have the experts to help you figure out your garden specifics.
Good luck on your gardening adventures. Stay tuned for some fun summer tips from The Wise Team.