Ask any greenthumb and they’ll tell you: Colorado gardening is inherently tricky. While our state gets more sunny days than almost any other, long winters and unpredictable buffer seasons can make establishing your yearly green projects more than a little complicated. However, with a little planning and some sage advice, you can be sure to coax all the plants in your Solstice™ yard into full bloom. Read on for our tips and tricks that are sure to make your garden the talk of the neighborhood!
Plan Before You Plant
More than perhaps any other hobby, gardening benefits from extensive planning. Before digging a single hole, you’ll want to spend a little time observing the specific qualities of your outdoor space. Solstice™ (and much of the surrounding area) falls within USDA Hardiness Zone 5b, so you’ll find that certain plants thrive in our beloved landscape that wouldn’t elsewhere. In terms of flowers, you’ll have luck with perennials like peonies, poppies, phlox, and many other excellent options. With the hardiness zone in mind you’re already well on your way to flourishing flora, but you may also want to take a few days to observe which parts of your yard get the right kind of sun for your prospective plants and where you might best place your delicate vegetables so they can find much-needed afternoon shade.
Start Early or Buy Starts
We love how Solstice™ residents can step right out the doors of their beautiful homes and into gardens to literally harvest the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor. While that day is still months away, it’s never too soon to get a jump on prepping — especially if you want to start your plants from seedlings indoors. Seedlings give your plants a running start, but require special care and attention as well as plenty of time. If you miss the window for planting seeds (or if the whole process feels like too much hassle), Denver-area greenhouses and most grocery stores carry young plants called “starts” that you can bring home and put directly into the ground or a pot of soil. With the exception of a few cold-hardy options, you’ll want to wait until after the average last day of frost — typically around mid-May — to plant.
Digging a new garden is difficult and can be especially limiting if you’ve been waiting until the ground thaws to get started. If you’re feeling impatient or don’t want to rip up your lovely landscaping, you might elect instead to DIY a planter or raised beds. Most wooden and metal containers, except for those that have held toxic chemicals, can be retrofitted into homes for plants that bring a quirky boho aesthetic to your yard. If you think you’ll need something a little more spacious, a raised bed constructed out of discarded wooden pallets is an easy way to expand your garden space. Just make sure that the pallet is marked as “heat treated” or “HT” so you know there’s no danger of chemical ingestion. Make sure your plants are protected from hungry local wildlife and you’ll be bearing witness to the bounty of nature before you know it!
Last but not least, the best thing to keep in mind is that every year of gardening comes with its own unanticipated challenges — and triumphs. By dedicating time to the earth and getting your hands dirty, you’ll learn a lot that can’t be picked up from reading how-to articles. After this summer, you’ll be ten times more equipped to take up the never-ending and always-evolving joy of gardening!
And who knows? With all this experience under your belt, next year you might even be the master gardener sharing micro-clime advice with your Solstice™ neighbors. Want to see what it’s like to be part of a community this special? Reach out today to learn more!