New to the Grand Valley

katied55791January 16, 2014

I am new to this region of the country. I want to build a new vegetable garden. I am told by the locals that most new gardens fail because the soil cannot/will not support it

OK...I am prepared to dig out the area first and re-fill with proper soil, etc.

But...just how deep do I have to go?

This whole area is what is called the high desert. It seems to be mostly rock and sand. I guess I don't have to worry about it being "well-drained"...but..any and all advice to this newbie will be very welcome.

thank you

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I, too, am a Grand Valley resident. I have found gardening success with raised beds and a growing medium called Mel's Mix. I discovered it last year when I found a book on Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. I have tried regular in-the-ground gardening, where I had a prolific crop of weeds, straw bale gardening, which is water intensive but works, and now square foot gardening. I like the square foot method the best. The raised beds have their own soil mix so your ground soil doesn't matter.

If you are planting a huge garden then the square foot method might get pricey. Go to the square foot gardening forum on this site for more information. Welcome to the Grand Valley. Its a pretty great place to live, I think.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 8:07PM
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jaliranchr(z5 EC CO)

Welcome to Colorado and the RMG family, katied!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 8:52PM
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I am on the front range but also created raised beds and just tilled the ground underneath and then added soil from a garden center on top. Bought in bulk, so it was a little cheaper than plastic bags of soil from Lowes or somewhere.

Welcome to Colorado!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 7:00AM
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I don't believe that grapes require a very fertile soil but your area of Colorado is known for vineyards.

There are also orchards.

A conversation with the folks at your local Cooperative Extension office may be a wise thing to do.

Best of Luck! And yes, Welcome to RMG!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 9:20AM
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david52 Zone 6

High desert gardener here as well. Probably the best trick is to become a fanatic on adding organic matter to your soil - compost, mulch, grass clippings, manures, and so on.

Give yourself a 3 year time frame to get the soil built up. In the mean time, raised beds, purchased soil, & sq ft gardening if you can afford it.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 11:16AM
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