Start a Cool Season Vegetable Garden

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Summer is over, which means the end of the gardening season for those of us here in Colorado. However, gardening season doesn’t have to be over at all. In fact, with a cool season Colorado vegetable garden, you and your family can enjoy fresh, tasty vegetables all winter long. All it takes is a little know-how and an equipped garden space.

Ever noticed that some of the vegetables you plant in your summer garden go to seed faster than you wanted? This can be a sign they’re meant for cooler weather. In fact, some vegetables will surprise you when they thrive in the face of frosty weather.

Houzz
Source: Robin Amorello via Houzz

Here are some tips from Houzz on how to plant a Colorado vegetable garden that will yield produce even as the snow falls.

Dates and temperatures
. Pay careful attention to planting dates and the soil temperatures required for a plant to weather the winter months. In most cases, the plants need to be in by fall. 55° Fahrenheit is often the magic number. When soil temperatures get below this level, plants may not grow.

Houzz
Source: Natalie DeNormandie via Houzz

Invest in a cold frame. Cold frames are like mini-greenhouses. They protect your plants from harsh elements, but allow them to receive ample sunlight, creating warmer temperatures. You can buy them pre-made or build your own.

Houzz
Source: Robin Amorello via Houzz

Know your winter veggies. Crunchy broccoli and tough kale are built like that for a reason — they like colder weather and have the infrastructure to survive it. Root vegetables can also be “stored” right where you grow them, ready to be pulled up when you need them. With the right environment and protection, they can often last through a snow storm or two.

The following are examples of edible plants that can survive our Colorado climate:

  • Spinach. Keep in mind that soil must remain moist for spinach to grow well.
  • Lettuce. Boston and Romaine varieties can grow all winter long.
  • Kale
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash 
  • Melon
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Potatoes
  • Yams

Interested in starting a cool season Colorado vegetable garden in your backyard? Contact Lifescape. We can help you determine the perfect location and design to help you yield the best crops.