Spring in Colorado means beautiful sunny days, surprise hail storms, and garden prep! Gear up for gardening this spring with tips and tricks from contributor Rachel Baihn.
Due to the location of The Centennial State, spring starts a little late and ends a bit earlier, leading to a somewhat short growing season. Despite the shortened season, gardeners can still do well in growing a bountiful harvest. Check out these tips for gearing up for gardening in Colorado this spring:
Plant Any Seed Starters
Many Colorado gardeners choose to start their plants early by seeding indoors. Seeding inside allow those plants that take longer to have enough time to mature before the cold weather arrives this fall.
Now is the time to take those starters and plant them in the warmed soil outdoors. Make sure to tag or place markers with the starters so that you know what variety was planted later. This will help when it’s time to harvest and prevent you from mistaking a seedling for a weed. Save the containers that you used for your starters and store them for the next year as well.
Work the Plan
The most successful gardeners have a plan for their gardens and know exactly where certain plants will go. If you haven’t done so already, sketch out a quick drawing of your garden with the proper measurements. Double check your seed packets to make sure that you allow enough spacing for each mature plant.
Resist the urge to place plants too close together, as it will greatly hinder their growth later on. Think back on last year and what plants did well in certain spots of the garden. Use that knowledge to plant in areas that have been successful and move plants that didn’t do very well last year to a new spot in the garden this year.
The greatest opposition a Colorado gardener faces each year is the battle with weeds. Think now about how you will take care of weeds before they become overwhelming and choke out your plants.
Consider checking the garden daily to pull any small weeds that surface. Home gardeners can also invest in a rototiller in order to rototill the spaces in between plants. Use a weed killer that won’t harm your plants, or consider making your own homemade variety, in order to keep weeds at bay.
Knowing how you will tackle weeds, and having a plan to do so, will help in keeping the weeds down in your garden during the peak growing season this summer.
Fix Your Tools
Wasting time in the garden to fix a tool, or having to run to the store to purchase a new tool, can cost precious time in the garden. Be sure to evaluate your current tools and make sure that everything is in proper working condition early.
Take advantage of spring sales and buy back-ups of gardening tools that you know you will use a lot. Repair garden tools that can still be saved and toss the ones that have seen better days. Having a full set of tools that work well will pay dividends in saving you time, money, and stress while gardening.
Colorado gardeners can have a very successful harvest despite a shorter gardening season. Plan out your garden and plant seedlings in order to get a jump on the growing season. Dig into the tools in your shed, repair any tools that need fixing, and know how to tackle weeds in order to keep your garden in check. These tips can help gardeners in Colorado have a beautiful garden and bountiful harvest all season long.
Rachael Baihn is an avid gardener, both indoors and in her backyard sanctuary. She can often be found exploring the Austin greenbelt or playing with neighborhood dogs.