Colorado Spring Garden Update

Spring Storm

(Aerial View of Garden After Snow) 

I directly sowed my warm weather vegetables – cucumber, cantaloupe, black beans, edamame and zucchini on May 9th.   They started poking their heads out in about 7 days.  I also took my tomatoes and peppers and placed all 7 trays (with 18 plants each) on one of the beds under a row cover for them to ‘harden’ to the outdoor conditions.  The row cover allows for 80% of the direct sunlight which is actually good initially since they can easily wilt/burn from the sun when first put out.  It also protects them from the wind and cold nights.

tomatoes/peppers under row cover

Trays of Tomatoes and Peppers hardening under row cover.

The plants were adjusting quite well needing water daily as opposed to every other day inside due to the heat/dryness.  I usually plant them a few days after being put outside but we got too busy.  I was about to put them in the ground last week but hesitated since they were predicting some cold weather for the weekend.  GOOD THING I WAITED!!!  I brought them all back in the house and set them on the dining room table prior to the May 20th snowmageddon spring storm of 10” of heavy, wet snow.  Funny that I just posted on a prior snow storm on May 8th!

Aerial View of Garden

Aerial View of Garden Prior to Snowmageddon

We were in serious damage protection mode leading up to this storm.  Most of the plants that were up and growing could tolerate the snow/cold but because they were predicting up to 10”, it became imperative that we cover all the onions, potatoes, garlic, cabbage and blueberries with row covers. We had to reinforce the row covers with painter’s tarps and heavy plastic all held up with PVC piping hoops; the heavy snow would crush and likely kill the plants.  The new seedlings, asparagus, lettuce I covered with straw to give them a barrier to the cold/snow.  Bill and I went out 3 times overnight brushing off the snow on the row covers.  Luckily everything survived!  We could not be farmers!!! It’s a lot of work…..

snow covered garden

Snow Covering Tarps in Garden

The plants I direct sowed at the end of March are doing well – all the potatoes, most of the onions, peas, beets, carrots sprouted but not all of them so I added additional seeds where they did not come up.  So now that the threat of more cold/freeze has passed I have put the tomatoes and peppers back outside under row covers and will plant all 70+ plants tomorrow when the sun and heat finally come back!!

potato plants growing

Potato Plants Today!

onion plants growing

Dormant Onion Plants Took Root!

spinach and cabbage growing

Spinach and Cabbage (in middle of ring) Growing! Notice the watering tubes (to be discussed in next blog)

snap peas growing

Pea Plants Starting to Cling to Trellis (flowers will be coming soon)