|I want to plant a vegetable garden. What vegetables do well in Colorado, and when do I plant them?|
|Most anything you see listed in the Burpee catalog will grow in your area. Vegetables are annual plants that mature relatively quickly. The crops that take longest to mature (pumpkins, winter squash, dry beans, etc.) need 90-120 frost-free growing days. The first key to successful gardening is getting your soil in shape. Have a test done via the agricultural extension service (ph# 303/730-1920) and amend your soil based on their recommendations. At the very least, your soil can do with an addition of organic matter (humus) in the form of compost and/or aged manure.
If you want to start crops from seed, broccoli, eggplant, tomato, and peppers are best started indoors 4-6 weeks before your last spring frost is predicted (April 30-May 15). Cool-season crops (carrots, lettuce, beets, for example) can be sown directly in the garden before your last frost date, and more tender crops (beans, cukes, corn, for instance) should be planted after danger of frost has passed, and the soil is warm. Your extension office can give you a list of vegetable varieties that do well in your region, and basic growing instructions. Enjoy your first garden!