If you’re itching to get a start on the garden season, why not start now?
No matter what zone you fall under, seasons in Colorado are about as unpredictable as it gets. There are, however, plenty of frost-resistant vegetables that you can easily get going with minimal resources, and some of them even prefer a colder upbringing over the hours of spring and summer warmth that can make them bolt and compromise their flavor.
Cold Tolerant Planting
As with any gardening endeavor, start with the soil.
Make sure the plot you want to grow in, whether it’s a raised bed or area of tilled ground, is healthy. If you’re not sure of your soil’s status, it probably needs work. Typically, healthful soil is dark in color but light in texture, so if necessary, add compost and/or manure to the native soil so you have a workable foundation of at least 6 inches of soil depth (8 to 12 inches is better–the more room you give the roots to expand, the bigger the plant will proportionally grow on top).
March 15th also marks the date where root plants like garlic, onion sets, strawberries, rhubarb, raspberries and potatoes are safe to go outside (if you’d like to try potatoes this year, but don’t have a lot of space, check out this great potato tower design that lets you grow hundreds of pounds of spuds in 4-square-feet!)
We know, you either love it or you hate it.
Frames are great to keep plants safe during cold snaps and cloudy days, but remember to take them off or to leave a flap open for ventilation when it warms up, or the greenhouse effect could actually work against your plants and fry them during the day.
Of course, if you have any questions about your late winter and early spring plantings, you can always ask a Green Vest.