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wannabe vegetable gardener

Posted by africabound colorado (My Page) on
Sat, May 9, 09 at 23:31

I'm new to gardening and new to the board. I'm finding out that I'm pretty far behind for this planting season. I feel like I've missed the boat for half the season already. This past week I planted various lettuces, spinach, beets, radishes, onion sets, cucumbers, broccoli, and cauliflower all from seeds directly sown. I was hoping to do another planting of lettuce two weeks after the first was planted.

I started some tomatoes and peppers indoors the second week of April. They are still pretty small, just getting their first true leaves a few days ago.

I was wondering if I have gotten off to a late start for a few of these vegetables. Any suggestions as to what to plant next? I was hoping to sow some beans and peas either Monday or Tuesday evening; do I still have time for these?

This is my first real vegetable garden and I would really like to enjoy some fruits of my labor but I fear I may have been behind from the start.
Anyone else feel behind?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: wannabe vegetable gardener

I was hoping to sow some beans and peas either Monday or Tuesday evening; do I still have time for these?"

Yes, plenty of time. If the weather turns hot quickly, the peas might not like it much. But you never know. Beans can get planted when you plant out the tomatoes and peppers.

Gardening is always a bit of a gamble. Plant a lot of things, and something will always do well while something else will always do poorly. But you rarely know ahead of time which will be which.

Other things to plant: When you plant out the tomatoes and peppers, that's a good time for other warm-weather things such as the squash family, basil, corn, tomatillos, etc.

Potatoes can be planted now or later. I don't know how much cold they'll tolerate -- light frost, yes. Heavy snow, I don't know.

Try things and see what happens. If we don't get a lot of cold and snow in the fall, you can grow those cool-weather veggies again, plus get continued production from your summer veggies.

Good luck.

RE: wannabe vegetable gardener

I'm 800 miles northwest of any part of Colorado but, I don't feel especially late and I won't be sowing cucumber or bean seed for a few weeks. We had frost this morning.

Your climate may be quite a bit different. In fact, I notice that the hardiness zone map of Colorado looks like a crazy quilt. Perhaps, no part of the state is very much like any other.

Here's something I do - watch the trees and other perennials and see where they are. I plant peas when the Oregon Grape begins to flower and then a couple of weeks later. (A week ago, there were no Oregon Grape blossoms to be seen.)

These folks at Golden Harvest are in Colorado (website linked below), not sure where. I doubt if I could agree with every idea expressed on that page but it may give you some idea of where you are in your growing season.

I do see that CO is a bit ahead in Growing Degree Days to anywhere close to me. Heck, this time of year I feel like I may as well be in North Dakota . . .

Steve's digits

Here is a link that might be useful: Phenology - Golden Harvest

indicator plants/growing degree days

Here's a site that relates accumulated growing degree days with some plants you may find in your landscape.

Gee, your lilacs must be already blooming!


Here is a link that might be useful: Indicator Plants (growing degree days)

RE: wannabe vegetable gardener

Prompt replies! I think I'm going to like it here. Yes the lilacs are in bloom, the cherry trees are blossoming, and my garden is still a pile of dirt (hopefully not for long). Steve you have opened up a whole new bevy of information for me to digest, indicator plants? who knew? I'm excited to hear that all is not lost for time. I've always been an instant gratification kind of guy, (maybe it's my generation....I turn 30 at the end of the month) so gardening is really teaching me some patience, though I do have persistence. My last project took 14 months to complete....

after (That's my dad driving, it was my brother's and my gift restoring his high school car for him) I Painted that!!!!!.

Most of my early spring was spent turning a hill in my back yard into plantable terraces appx. 1200 sf.

onions with California poppies in the background.

RE: wannabe vegetable gardener


Sorry, got distracted by that fabulous car. Don't forget trellis' for the beans and peas. My wintersown peas were transplanted today and I only had one type of bean (dragon tongue) sprout so those need to get transplanted soon. Make sure you harden off those tomatoes & peppers before you transplant but it's still too cool for those without protection anyway.


RE: wannabe vegetable gardener

That's an MGA, right? Don't be offended if I got it wrong. My high school car was a Volvo PV. Despite the symbol for the car company, it wasn't your muscular, masculine car. I essentially graduated from that to banging around in an old pickup, ever since.

The tenant at my smaller gardens has an MG . . . and a Harley. And, a fairly heavy appetite for alcoholic beverages. I'm not sure if that should go with the choice of transport.

I've often wished that I had a sloping site for terracing. Strangely, after 40 some years of this activity, I've never once had a reason to terrace a veggie garden.

Good job on the terracing and good job on the painting. We will be expecting more of these practical works of art from you.


RE: wannabe vegetable gardener

Some of your cool seasons you are late on, but you'll figger it out and you can use this opportunity to understand your site better wrt drainage, exposure, what not to overhead water, how the heck to stop the wind from shredding the tender leaves, etc. With the big spring snows some of our things are a little delayed here as well, but that's just how it is here.


RE: wannabe vegetable gardener

Yes it's a 1960 MGA. My wife and I bought a few tomato plants along with some herbs and snow peas. My Mom gave us a new rose and some bleeding heart plants as well. I think our late start got a jump! It feels like cheating a little bit because we didn't grow them from seed but I don't think 2.99 was unreasonable for foot tall tomato plants. Thanks for the reminder about the trellises.

RE: wannabe vegetable gardener

Last year my garden wasn't even built until later in May. I think my peas may have suffered some from the late planting but we still had some tasty Sugar Snaps to eat. Everything else seemed to do well even with the late start on the cool season stuff.

I haven't planted most of my garden yet. I hope to get more planted this week.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tales of a Transplanted Gardener

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