The Q&A Archives: When to Plant Vegetables in Denver

Question: It is May 15, and my neighbors are already planting their vegetables outdoors (including tomatoes). Is now the time to plant vegetables? I always thought it was at the end of May in our region. This might help explain why my garden matured too late last year. Thank you!!

Answer: You can plant cool weather crops a week or two before your
last frost date (last week of May) but wait to plant heat lovers like tomatoes and peppers until a week or two after the last frost date. You can try planting them earlier if you provide protection from frost. Some gardeners have success with Wall O' Waters, a cylinder made of plastic compartments that you fill with water, which acts as an insulator. Or drape burlap over temporary frames at night. (Don't let coverings rub against the plants.) You can also try warming the soil by covering it with sheets of black plastic. Also, try to choose plants with shorter maturity times (found on seed packs and catalogue descriptions) for your short growing season. Often they will have terms like "early" in their name. Good luck!

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