See How H’s Garden Grows

Helene Desmarais in garden

original garden footprint

Original Garden Footprint 2013

Welcome to Helene’s Garden blog!  I plan on posting periodically the progress of my high-altitude vegetable garden for 2022; but first a little background on me.  I had a small garden with tomatoes, snap peas, eggplant, strawberries, corn in the last home I owned in Cleveland, Ohio. The gardening was so easy there with warm nights (which tomatoes love), humidity, no wind and fast composting organic matter.  I moved to Colorado in June 2002 during the Hayman Fire in Co Springs- hot and dry!   Since then, I have lived in various places that did not allow for a garden, only flowers in pots.   When Bill and I moved in to our present home in Morrison Co (foothills of Denver) in 2012 we had a huge open back yard with the skeleton of an old garden measuring 40’ x 25’.  It was outlined with railroad ties and full of wild shrubs and trees.  I was just thrilled but knew it was not going to be an easy task to bring it back to life after so many years of neglect.  We totally ‘gutted’ the area, tilled the soil, added amendments then we had a team of family and friends help us over the course of a couple of weeks to make the 10 @ 10’ x 6’ boxes and fence it all in from the deer and bunnies that also reside here.  It looked so fresh and new – ready for planting in May 2013!

Building raised garden beds

Garden Construction 2013

It’s been a journey since then!  Trial and error over almost 10 years has given me tons of experience with the many challenges of gardening in Colorado at 6300 ft elevation!  I took the CSU Extension ‘Master Gardener’ class in 2016 which gave me great insight (and reference material) into the importance of soil amendments, crop rotation, companion planting, types of bugs and diseases, weather, animals, etc. that we have to contend with in this high-altitude desert.  I am not an “official Master Gardener” since I did not do the volunteer hours needed to achieve the title – this entailed volunteering at public facilities like Home Depot or being at the CSU Extension call center to answer gardening questions from the public.  So, I actually have a “Colorado Gardener Certificate”.  I have had so many friends and family ask questions about my garden I thought I would share my 2022 vegetable garden process with step-by-step activities, ideas and information as I move forward with this year’s garden.  Stay tuned….!

Finished Garden Raised Beds and Enclosure

Finished Garden Raised Beds and Enclosure