Gardening in Colorado – The Ultimate Planting Guide

Spring is in the air and for those of you with a green thumb, we know that you’re itching to start working in the yard. If you plan to grow a vegetable garden or add flowers to your property, check out these Colorado-specific gardening tips so you can have the most beautiful yard on the block.

Know Your Colorado Climate

Living in Colorado, you know that the weather can change in an instant which can make it difficult to predict what the season may bring. But don’t let that discourage you from getting your hands dirty and planting some new seedlings.

A few things you should know is that all Colorado residents, no matter where you live,  should plan to water your garden plots at least two to three times per week. This is true while you wait for seedlings to emerge as well as during the peak growing season. Also, folks in the Denver metro area will benefit from adding a little compost or manure to their soil to combat the natural alkalinity in the ground.

Choose the Best Seeds

What grows best in Colorado? Thankfully many wonderful fruits, vegetables, and flowers thrive here!

Front Range: This area where the mountains meet the range includes the Denver metro area and Boulder. This wide region receives ample snow in the winter and experiences occasional windy conditions.

Try growing:

  • Basil
  • Petunias
  • Sunflowers
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash or Pumpkins

Western Slope: This dry climate region spans the Continental Divide. If irrigated properly, your garden with thrive and you can even try your hand at raising fresh fruit in this low-humidity region.

Try growing:

  • African Marigolds
  • Pansies and Violas
  • Roses
  • Fruit trees like apples or peaches
  • Currants
  • Onions
  • Beans
  • Spinach

Eastern Plains: The East side of the state sits at a high elevation, receives very little rainfall each year and experiences varying temperatures. This means, picking drought tolerant plants that can endure high heat is key.

Try growing:

  • Alpine Ivy Geraniums
  • Irises
  • Lavender
  • Rhubarb
  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Corn

Don’t forget that a lot of vegetables, no matter where you live, can be planted twice in a season. This includes veggies like lettuce, carrots, beets, peas, spinach and more.

When to Start Planting

Now that you have an idea of what types of plants thrive in your part of Colorado, it’s time to plan when to put seeds or seedlings into the ground for optimal growing.

Perennials: These plants come back year after year. If you want to start some hardy perennials this year, plan to put them in the ground after the last frost in early spring. More delicate perennials should wait until May or June.

Annuals: These are planted each season and include most garden vegetables and flower box blooms. These plants can be put into the soil as soon as the last frost is done – which can be as late as mid-May, the late spring, and all through the summer months. With proper maintenance, annuals will last until the first frost of fall.

Before grabbing your trowel and clippers, all HOA community members should get any major landscaping changes approved. Keep this in mind if you’re planting a fruit tree, starting a vegetable garden or adding a flower oasis to your property. Happy gardening!