Things You Should Know Before Starting A Garden in Denver CO
Unwinding in your yard can be one of the most rejuvenating things to do, right? Then why not make the most out of it? If you are thinking of giving your barren patches a green boost but not sure of how to start, we have you covered in this article.
Once you decide to dedicate some time to gardening, time and season wouldn’t matter. If you are a beginner and wish to start from scratch, spring would be the ideal time to do so. But then who wants to wait!
Just get muddy and start your seeds for the season you are in! If you are looking for some motivation, check sites like Denver CO to immerse in some outdoor garden fun. Here’s how you can scratch the gardening itch with these tips!
Start with seeds
Isn’t it just beautiful to watch the green shoots sprout from the baby seeds you plant? Don’t worry if this is the first time, it isn’t complicated at all. One thumb rule to follow is to keep it minimal. This means that if you can make space to grow five veggies, avoid buying seeds for more.
If your garden receives full sunshine, it is an advantage. You can begin by picking seeds by season. Don’t forget to segregate them by the time they are grown in and the one in which they are harvested.
You can always visit a local nursery or ask your friends and family members who have a fair knowledge of gardening for a better understanding of what to grow when. Crops such as lettuce, carrots, turnips, cauliflower, peas, radishes, broccoli, etc. are all cold season crops. If you are planting in the warm season, you can pick from tomatoes, brinjals, and bell peppers.
If you have the luxury of a landscape, go ahead and plant those seeds directly in the soil beds. Otherwise, you can consider growing them in containers. In Denver, you can choose to grow lettuce directly in the garden around mid-March, especially if you can arrange to protect them from the frost.
Other greens such as kale, mustards, and collards are also well-suited for the cold season. The nip in the temperature infuses sweetness in such crops.
Note, that once you sow the seeds, you might need to maintain a certain moisture level in the soil. Covering the seedling starters with a cover would be a viable idea.
Know the temperature in Denver CO
It is important to closely monitor the temperatures through the seasons as it will enable you to identify which plants can be started inside which would do better outside. Check how long the average frost lasts as this may not be favorable to start a seed.
In Denver, it lasts for about 15 days and in some outskirt regions, it may set in late May. Consider sowing anywhere between six to eight weeks before the frost sets in.
If you plan to grow tomatoes in late May, they could face the frost in September. This brings you to do a little research on when to plant and when to harvest your crops.
If you are planning the cool weather seeds, you can sow them inside based on their tolerance level. Those with better endurance levels can be sown outdoor in March. Read more on how to get started on winter garden @ https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/05/08/vegetable-garden_n_15947264.html
For the warm weather seeds, you can try planting squash, green beans, and even cucumbers once the frost date is gone and the soil feels warmer.
Gardening equipment for a beginner
You can consider trays to start your seeds. If you can get ones that have a dome even better. This will aid in creating a greenhouse effect for the seeds while the tray will prevent rapid water drainage. Some gardening experts suggest the use of germinating mats as they work as an insulation pad for the tray to maintain the warmth underneath. You can reuse these trays instead of discarding them.
Alternatively, you can also use the seedling starter pots which measure about 4-6” and can be fitted into the plastic trays. On an eco-friendly note, you can recycle and upscale by using paper cups, egg cartons, ice-cube trays, or any such old plastic bottles, etc. in which you can make drainage holes. Using simple garden soil for starting seeds is a better idea than using a potting mix.
Whenever you want to transplant your saplings, make sure they are carefully handled. Seeds started indoors might get a sock when exposed to the outside temperature and light. Hence, it would be important to keep a track of its water needs daily.
You can plant seeds in moist soil placed in a pot. Simply use a skewer to punch a hole in the soil and just drop in a couple of seeds per pot. Using a spray to keep the soil moist from time to time is important and you can do a daily check to test humidity in the soil.
If the seeds germinate and have developed visible roots, you can transfer them to bigger containers. In this phase, you can consider adding a potting mix. During this period, however, you may need to water your plants regularly and give them a healthy boost of fertilizer. Remember not to overwater your plants as you could land up killing them. Always check the soil using your finger to test if it needs water.
Not all gardens are created the same way and while some may stream abundant natural light, others may just manage to catch the morning beam. Depending on the light source, you can install artificial lights to maintain certain lighting and temperature in your garden.
A few things to note
– Warm weather vegetables such as beans, squashes, pumpkins, cantaloupe, cucumbers, and watermelons can be directly sown into the vegetable beds.
– Some like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers like less heat and may take a longer time to mature. However, they also harvest for longer periods.
– When transplanting saplings or plants, consider gently pulling them by the leaves than by their stems as bruised stems can have a lifetime impact on the plant’s growth.
-You can follow the rule of planting the seeds three times deeper into the soil than its girth.
– Underground root vegetables such as carrots and beetroots also peas for that matter may not transplant well. Hence, it would be better to start them in the soil beds right from scratch.
-Monitor the garden soil as most vegetables thrive in loose soil that’s organic and not too much compacted. If possible, till your garden area as the soil is often found to be compacted in the Denver region.
-Denver has an arid climate which makes the soil prone to easy drying. Watering the plants less in the cooler season and deeply soaking it when the temperature rises will be a good way to ensure that the soil provides adequate nutrition that can allow the roots to grow deeper into it.
You can refer to a planting calendar for your region to make the best of your efforts. If not already, gardening, be it in your yards or balcony garden in Denver CO can become your passion as soon as you get started.