Cool season vegetables grow well here as well as short season
ones. These are the some of the vegetables that I have successfully
grown in my Pine, CO garden:
1. Lettuce. All types of lettuce
grow well in a high altitude garden. I grow my lettuce shaded by taller vegetables. I mulch the
lettuce with either grass clippings (hard to come by here as I have no
grass to mow!) or old straw and water the plants at least once a week.
I always start my lettuce indoors and set out plants. I have placed
the seed directly in the garden but have not been able to get plants started
this way. The following table shows the lettuce varieties that I
2. Spinach and Swiss Chard I have had excellent spinach and swiss chard from my garden. The spinach varieties that I grow are: Savory, Tyee, Melody, and Winter Bloomsdale. The swiss chard varieties that I grow are: Fordhook Giant and Ruby Red. I plant the seed directly in the garden in long rows spaced about 8 inches apart. The seed is difficult to germinate and I have tried various methods including:
I have grown other types of greens successfully such as kale, mustard greens, and collards but I much prefer the spinach and swiss chard.
3. Peas. I grow three types of peas: Oregon Giant, a snow pea, Sugar Ann, a sugar snap pea, and Lincoln, a regular pea. I first put up a four foot high wire fence and then plant the seeds in 6 inch wide rows on either side of the fence, scattering the seeds evenly through the wide rows. The wide rows allow me to have more plants per fence then a single row of seed, I get a larger harvest from the same space, and the plants shade each other better this way.
4. Cole Crops. Most years,
cole crops do well but, in very hot, dry summers, these crops suffer no
matter how much I water them. I always start the plants indoors.
I mulch the cole beds either with straw or black plastic. One year
I grew the cabbage under remay and, while I had the largest heads ever,
I also had so many aphids that the crop was uneatable. Since then,
I don't cover the plants. The following table shows the type and
varieties of cole vegetables that I grow:
5. Potatoes. I usually have two large beds of potatoes and have grown the same varieties for years. I save some potatoes from the prior year, cut up the larger ones and keep the small ones whole, and place the seed potatoes directly into the garden. I mulch the beds heavily with straw right after planting the potatoes. The biggest problem I have growing potatoes is the soil pH. Potatoes need an acid soil and my soil is very alkaline. I add sulphur to the potato beds prior to planting. However, I still have a problem with scab, small raised areas on the skin of the potatoes. This affects only the appearance of the potato and not the taste or keeping qualities. I purchased my first potatoes from a local supplier and don't know the varieties as they were labeled red, white, yellow and baking. Since then, I have also grown Red Dale, Yukon Gold, Kennebec, and Frontier Russet.
These are just some of the vegetables that I grow. I save my purchased seed packets and use the seeds for many years as most seed stays viable in the cool, dry air of Colorado. Therefore, some of the varieties that I mentioned above may not be available any longer.
For more information about my vegetable garden, including images and more tips, click here.