While April showers may bring May flowers, don’t underestimate March! Before gardening season truly begins, you only have 30 days to gardenscape, curate the right flowers and veggies, and even begin mulching. In fact, you should prepare your garden a whole month before you plan to plant.
Gardening in Colorado presents its own challenges — especially with our dry climate — but we have five tips that will help you make the most of March. Continue reading to learn about pruning your trees, hearty flower types, and composting.
Select Your Size
There’s no shame in starting small if you’re a novice gardener.
A small set of patio planters can brighten your outdoor space but will bring the same joy as a gigantic garden can! You can also opt for a petite garden plot to save room for your kids to play nearby.
Do you want to try your hand at tomato gardening or add some annuals to your life? A little spot with select plants will allow you to experiment and test out your green thumb. We also recommend grouping together plants that prefer the same growing conditions. The smaller the plot, the easier it will be to plan ahead.
Location, Location, Location
It’s no secret: Plants love and need ample sunlight, some more than others. When scouting a location for your garden space, select areas of your yard — or a patio — that face the east, south, or west. This will ensure that your blooms and veggies receive plenty of sun.
Don’t have that much sun exposure? Don’t be discouraged. You can find plants that thrive in low-level lighting, including leafy vegetables such as Colorado’s beloved kale, Swiss chard, bok choy, and asparagus. All of these delicious eats thrive in partial shade, perfect for planting in a north-facing plot.
Prune Your Existing Trees
Don’t let dead tree limbs distract from what will become your beautiful gardenscape. A vital and often-skipped step, pruning in Colorado should start after the major snowstorms pass. Prune damaged, diseased, or dead wood that might be obstructing views of your home, interfering with traffic, or hanging low in your neighbor’s yard! Falling tree branches can damage flowers and veggies, but also your home and property.
If it’s been especially dry, remember to water your trees, lawn, shrubs, and perennials to breathe new life into your lawn. Just make sure you’re following any drought advisories.
Enrich Your Soil and Mulch
If the ground has thawed and the ice has melted away, your soil should be soft enough to enrich or aerate. Till just an inch into the ground where you plan to plant in order to give the soil more exposure to the air. It’s very important that you freshen up the soil to prepare your plot prior to planting in early-to-mid April.
Curious about your soil’s composition? Get yourself a soil test from your local garden center to measure the pH, salts, and nutrient levels. Remember to strike the right balance before you put down roots.
Once your soil has been tested, you can also add mulch around gardens with straw, shredded leaves, or grass clippings. The mulch retains moisture in your now-healthy soil.
Start Your Winter Vegetables
If you’re the gambling type and think Colorado’s winter storms are behind us, you can start planting hearty veggies and plants including ornamental sweet peas, radishes, and deliciously kid-friendly strawberries. Fresh fruit and vegetables are such a luxury to have in your house and taste even better when they’re home-grown.
It looks like you have some work to do! Our final tip: It’s easy to garden in a gorgeous backyard or on a spacious outdoor deck.
(Be sure to check the community architectural guidelines for some limitations on garden placement.)