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Rocky Mountain Gardening: yea! snow, about time, starting seeds and they're doing grea

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Forum: Rocky Mountain GardeningReplies: 19, Views: 125
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warriorswisdomkathy

warriorswisdomkathy
Kiowa, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 8, 2011
1:42 PM

Post #8361234

anyone else starting seeds this early. got 1 tray started and things are sprouting, very rewarding to grow your own babies. Can hardly wait til spring. hope we have an early last frost this year, am READY to get out into the garden and get planting this year. Am in the process of narrowing down plant lists to make my spring orders soon. The whole back yard is getting planted this year, nothing back there but wild grasses and wild roses (love the roses but they have to go). Anyone else got any big projects this year? Hope we can get by without any hail this year, am doing wedding flowers from my garden in late june, got my fingers crossed. Anyone going to the Home and Garden Show this year? I volunteered for the csu hort booth on sunday the 13th. If anyone wants to stop by and talk flowers will be there from 10-2. After, I get to wander around and smell all the goodies they force into bloom, yummmm. kathy
Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 9, 2011
5:39 AM

Post #8362154

Kathy,

What are you starting so early? But then again you are on the other side of the hill from me here in Glenwood Springs which might as well be another world. Fortunately we don't get hail like you folks on the front range.

I am just figuring out what I want in my first Colorado veggie garden including companion plants. I have to get things cleaned up in the garage and then make modifications to my soil strainer so I have a mini green house, 8'X3'.

What do you think of using peat pots to start out sprouts?

Sonny

pollengarden

pollengarden
Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 9, 2011
9:22 AM

Post #8362579

I like peat-pots (or pellets) better than plastic (recycled yogurt cartons) for plants that either 1) I know I am going to have to move into a larger pot before they finally get to the garden (prefer pellets), or 2) plants that have fragile roots and resent transplanting (prefer peat pots).
Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 10, 2011
5:02 AM

Post #8363933

Pollengarden,

Thanks. RH Shumway has a deal on Jiffy7 peat pellets with trays & covers.
http://www.rhshumway.com/dp.asp?pID=53239&c=206&p=Dome Tray Prefill Special Offer

Sonny

pollengarden

pollengarden
Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 10, 2011
5:35 AM

Post #8363992

Last year, I got most of mine from Walmart. The year before, from Lowe's hardware (then didn't use it until last year). This year I have added another light/shelf to my plant table/shelves. I want to add more little square trays, I had problems with the bigger rectangular ones. If I started one row (5) each of 8-10 different things - all sprouting and growing at different rates - the big trays got awkward. Nobody has seed-starting supplies out yet last time I checked, but I wasn't going to start anything until the end of the month anyway. I started all my stuff the last week of March last year, it worked okay for most of it.
Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 10, 2011
5:56 AM

Post #8364013

Pollengarden,

I am glad you mentioned the different growth rates. The thought had crossed my mind that different plants grow at different rates and you have to keep fluorescent lights about 3"- 4" inches above the top of the plants. That is why I am going with 4' fluorescent lights that I can raise individually instead of using 8' lights.

I wouldn't expect Lowe's or Walmart to have any gardening stuff here in Glenwood Springs until about April. Even then the selection of supplies & seeds would be very lame. I have noticed that even the nurseries in our valley are very limited in their selection of just about everything.

Sonny

warriorswisdomkathy

warriorswisdomkathy
Kiowa, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 17, 2011
10:38 AM

Post #8377197

Yup, I've used peat pots in the past but for what I'm doing is a hassle (tooooo many babies). Am starting mostly perennials and a few annuals that need more time. If interested in finding seeds a wonderful catalog to get is Thompsen Morgan Seeds or tmseeds.com , just about any type of seed you might want. Also another great one is Select Seed.com . Gosh got lots of goodies started. Been starting seeds since the last of Jan., and got so many babies already. Ready for the list so far (tee hee), I love growing my babies. Dianthus x Loveliness: mix, dark rose pink, med. lavender/dark purple; Aquilegea: Rocky mt. blue, Alba, red outter/white inner, all blue short spurs, Maggie May, pink short spurs, yellow fragrant;Malva m. Rosea; Monarda Lambada; Limonium s.; Salvia farinacea: white and blue; Hesperis matronalis: white and purple; Coreopsis Mayfield giants; Phlox paniculata: pink and lavender; Penstemon: palmerii; Salvia greggii: Furman red, officinalis, Wild Thing, Turkestanica, pink (all summer bloom); Valariana officinalis (yum); Angelica gigas; Delphinium: butterfly mix, dark blue, lilac/white bee, Galahad (white), lt. blue/white bee; Veronicastrum virginicum: alba and pink; Rudbeckia: Irish Eyes, Herbstromme, Black Eyed Susans; Delphinium: blue/dark bee; Antirrhinum: Rocket Red, tall rose; Nicotiana: sylvestris, Sensation purple ( both are evening fragrant, yummmm); Alcea: Creme de Cassis, cherry red single, cerise pink, single pink, single white, single light pink; Daucus carota: ruber, alba; Veronica spicata: blue, Sight Seeing blue, pink; Lilium lancer; Asclepias incarnata; Solidago rigida; Campanula: glomerata Aucaulis, persicifolia Alba; Cheirianthus; Boltonia asteroides pink; Saponaria occymoides; Osteospurmum Purple mt.; Jasione; Echinacea: palida; Belamcanda; Verbascum phoenicium; Oenothera missiouriensis; Chrysanthemum: Clara Curtice; Gypsophilla: repens pink; Geum: pink; Armeria maritim: Bee's Hybrids; Petunia mix; Helianthus Lemon Queen; Heliopsis helianthoides; Papaver orientalis pink or orange (forgot to mark the baggie when I collected seed); Anthemis tinctoria gold; Scabiosa o. yellow; Daucus carota. These are what I've started up to yesterday, got much more to do. Everyday new seedlings popping up, fun, fun, fun, atleast til time to pot on or plant in the garden (ha ha) really do enjoy though. Won't be starting veggies til late March or early April if I get any started at all, usually start in the garden, this year will buy tomatoes at garden club sale or from my favorite little nursery where things are very very reasonably priced ( 12 packs of perennials or annuals about $3, Veggies .79, tomatoes $1.59 4", herbs .79) If either of you get to Denver, got some great nurseries can refer you to. Worked the home and garden show , wow crazy, so many people.
Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 17, 2011
3:48 PM

Post #8377778

Kathy,

My eyes hurt! ;) LOL

Are you growing a garden for yourself or is this a commercial endeavour worthy of the mass plantings at Disneyland. (Tinge of envy).

Good luck!

Sonny

warriorswisdomkathy

warriorswisdomkathy
Kiowa, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 19, 2011
12:46 AM

Post #8380091

Thanks, Sonny. Was a good laugh, nooooo, I'm just greedy, want my yard to be a private botanic garden that I can enjoy. No rules, only my rules apply. If I don't want grass in the backyard, noone can complain, only me. If I spend time or money planting what I want and where I want it, I can. Then I also get the satisfaction of saying I did it myself. I get to plant the trees where I want them to block wind, get a wonderful fragrance, or just to create a wonderful vinette from which to sit in the garden and just be. I especially love planting the nicotianas, later when they begin to bloom, the evening are usually warm enough to sit outside after dark and the intoxicating fragrances surround me as I listen for the Hawkmoths to flutter about. The old saying you can't have it all is wrong (tee hee), because you actully can. Thats why I grow sooo much from seed, I get to include all my favorites and try new things that might just be my next favorite. And ya know if by chance I don't get everything planted its alright cuz there always next year to start more plants again. Gives me something to do in the winter. (lol). Nope not Disneyland, just my little Sissinghurst, England in the middle of the high desert plains. Just finished planting my first border last summer, (45ftx100ft), as things mature, I get to move onto another section of the garden (yard). I've allowed myself to have fun imagining what I can accomplish on my little god's green acre, the rest is in pasture. Nature, don't ya just love it, especially when you can cut a bouquet of flowers and brighten your day and still have plenty in the garden and not ever notice where it was cut from. Or cut a bouquet to take to a friend or family. Yup, love gardening, can you tell? (lol) Was taking watercolor painting classes and would like to try some plen-aire painting. Anyway I guess thats enough of boring all of ya. Later, Kathy
CLScott
Calgary
Canada

February 20, 2011
6:17 AM

Post #8382031

It sounds lovely!
Do keep us posted on your garden.
With pictures--- if you have them.
Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 20, 2011
12:00 PM

Post #8382610

Kathy,

Please do keep us posted with pictures. Also tell us which flowers you are most pleased with in regard to their performance.

Since I am on the other side of the hill in Glenwood Springs, your flower successes may do well in my area. Best of luck with the phunny weather on the front range! :O

Sonny

pollengarden

pollengarden
Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 24, 2011
5:46 AM

Post #8389798

I found out that I am going to be raising seedlings for two different fund-raiser plant sales in May. I need to start more plants than I originally intended. Does any one have suggestions for plants that are cold-hardy or need cold stratification that can be started outdoors about now? I could double my seedlings if they didn't all need to be indoors under lights.

warriorswisdomkathy

warriorswisdomkathy
Kiowa, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 24, 2011
11:56 AM

Post #8390439

Sorry, I don't have any experience with seeding babies outdoors. Check out organic gardening . org or is it com? Also check finegardening .com, they have extensive info for many subjects.

warriorswisdomkathy

warriorswisdomkathy
Kiowa, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 24, 2011
12:10 PM

Post #8390463

oh ya, update, out of the 89 varieies seeded, have 60 already up and growing. yup got pix but I haven't figured out how to get to web yet, duh (lol).
mraider3
Helena, MT

March 1, 2011
6:10 AM

Post #8399614

Kathy and Sonny, you talk about a variance in weather due to a mountain range. I live in the center of a valley three miles from town. Friend picante who lives in town has a completely different environment than ours. Wind velocities are four to five times greater in the valley and when it rains it generally stops about a block from my house. Snow when it reaches the valley is without much moisture so it can be swept off the deck at six inches deep with a push broom. Summers can often be like a desert for three to four weeks, and irrigation is a must. All this and only five minutes separating us.

I love those peat pots. I purchase a #230 case at least every other year from Growerssolution.com at $117.95 per case. I use to grow onion seed in peat pots but decided to try something new this year. The lids to COSTCO's roasted chickens were suggested by a DGer and I really like how they are working. I treat them like a container with some shredded moss in the bottom to help drainage through the four perforations.

Hot pepper seeds are next, then tomato seeds starting mid-March. Due to funky weather patterns I stager several planting of both by two week intervals. Last season I had to replant some tomatoes twice due to late freezes. Pepper plants will probably remain once potted up in 2.5 gallon pots so they may be moved back to the hoop house in mid-August. The crazy weather patterns over the past couple of years make gardening interesting. But I think the Rocky Mountainers are resourceful. Have to be even to garden.
mraider3
Helena, MT

March 1, 2011
6:16 AM

Post #8399627

Just thought I'd throw in a pic of the saved seed onion plantings.

Thumbnail by mraider3
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

March 2, 2011
4:50 PM

Post #8403158

Mraider3,

Give my best to picante!

The weather on the Front Range, (East side) of the Rockies is highly variable, while the Western Slope seems to just plod along with only a few surprises now & then.

A method you may want to try with tomatoes is to dig a 12"-18" hole using a post hole digger. Cut the branches off your tomato plant leaving the top two or three branches. Place a little compost in the bottom, put your tomato on top of the compost and then fill up the hole with compost about two inches below the lower branches. Water with a weak organic tea or kelp with root stimulator. Place a clear plastic cover over the top of the hole.

As the plant grows, keep cutting the lower branches & adding more compost. You should end up with a small plant & a HUGE root by the time most others are just transplanting their seedlings.

Sonny
mraider3
Helena, MT

March 3, 2011
4:08 AM

Post #8403877

Sonny, thanks for the tomato suggestions. I have done something similar to that but I will incorporate several of your suggestions here. I typically dig a hole 18-inches in diameter and about 2-ft deep for my tomato transplants. I have not used quite as much compost in the past but the cow manure I use is well digested. I have mixed the cow manure with an equal amount of soil from the top six inches of the garden which also has manure disked in. I use two foot diameter welded wire cages which are covered at the beginning of the season in 14-ml plastic sheeting. These cages are attached to a piece of rebar with a PVC pipe over the rebar so the cages can be raised and lowered at the beginning of the season to cultivate the newly planted tomato plants and make drip feeder adjustments as necessary. The cages act a protective clouch for the frequent night frosts during the month of May. By mid-June the covers come off the cages and the tomato plants can grow through the cage wires. Your suggestion with trimming the lower branches and continuing to fill the hole makes good sense to me. Will definitely add that trick to my procedure. TYVM

morgan
Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

March 3, 2011
3:58 PM

Post #8405058

Morgan,

I will definately use your "greenhouse" method coupled with my method.

When do you usually put your tomato transplants out?

Sonny
mraider3
Helena, MT

March 5, 2011
6:24 AM

Post #8407815

Difficult to say for sure Sonny, I have been considering planting the first round of Stupice tomato seeds this week and then every other week for several backup plantings. I should be able to go to the hoop house in early-April; however a heater is required to maintain temperatures at night in the 40 degree range. Hardening off begins on nice days in April for the first round of plants which will be transplanted in the covered cages when a break in the weather allows which might even be late April to early May. This is no guarantee the first round will make it though. We have had extreme cold snaps from May to early June which have ruined attempts at early transplanting to the garden. Sometimes a few will make it to the frost free periods around mid-June, but that has not been the case the last couple of years. We have had some really hard freezes even past mid-May, but that is the challenge. Trying to outwit Mother Nature is always a battle in our very short growing season, so successive backup planting seems to be the best answer.

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