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Heirloom Suggestions for Colorado 5a

Posted by XPLSV 5a (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 17, 14 at 16:03

I'm looking to plant some heirlooms here in northern Colorado Springs, which is zone 5a. While I don't have great soil in my back yard, I was successful last year with postholing areas for some plants and they, in general, did well with the soil I placed into the holes I dug. Did realize I need to expand them out further from each other for larger type plants, lets the plants begin to block shade from the others. The tomatoes would generally be used from topping burgers to seafood garnishing, etc. Not so much looking for sauce tomatoes. I realize taste can be subjective, so I am looking for some types that might grow well in this zone and can see what I get in the end.

Bernard


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Heirloom Suggestions for Colorado 5a

I live in Boulder, which has conditions similar to Colorado Springs. We can grow pretty much any tomato here, although really late season varieties won't give you much time for harvesting. That could be an issue for you, depending on where exactly in the Springs you live. Cherokee Purple and Brandy Boy were relatively early for me, and both are outstanding tomatoes. Also consider Sun Gold cherry, which is one of the earliest and best tasting tomatoes around.


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RE: Heirloom Suggestions for Colorado 5a

  • Posted by ZachS z5 Littleton, CO (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 13:31

Over at the Rocky Mountain Gardening forum, there is a tomato list thread going right now.

I have yet to grow the same tomato twice because I guess I am really bad at picking tomato varieties haha. I only really grow 1-2 kinds a year, not the dozens that some people get to experiment with so my "trials" are much more limited.


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RE: Heirloom Suggestions for Colorado 5a

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 16:00

so I am looking for some types that might grow well in this zone and can see what I get in the end.

As the others have said, assuming proper support and growing needs are provided, then you can grow most any variety you wish.

Tomato plants don't care what zone or even what state they are in as long as they get what they need in the way of good soil, good nutrients, time to grow, and the water they need. :)

Postholes however - assuming a common post hole digger size - are awfully small for a tomato root ball so you might try making the holes bigger. The roots like to run out fairly wide for "eats".

Dave


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RE: Heirloom Suggestions for Colorado 5a

  • Posted by ZachS z5 Littleton, CO (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 23:44

"Tomato plants don't care what zone or even what state they are in as long as they get what they need in the way of good soil, good nutrients, time to grow, and the water they need. :) "

Absolutely. There are very few vegetables that I have tried that don't work out here. Some years are better then others naturally, and there are vegetables I have never bothered with (like okra, because I don't think it would terribly well here, plus its gross haha).

The only real limiting factor to our tomatoes is the season length. As I'm sure you're familiar, Bernard, some years we have frost free warm weather from April to November. Others its more like June-August. Problem I have is, even though I've lived here my whole life, I still couldn't tell you with any certainty which year it will be! So, Your best bet, I think, would be grow a short season variety and a long season variety. That is the mistake I wind up making every year. But, the good Lord willing and my seeds pop up, I am fixing that this year.


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RE: Heirloom Suggestions for Colorado 5a

All,

Thanks for the various suggestions and tip on the forum.

When I say posthole, I am actually digging areas with a shovel. I had filled in a rectangular area last year and included some sunflowers which grew amazingly large and blotted the sun out for the other plants. This year I plan to expand that out and the ones I need to keep farther away would be sunflowers. A rectangular plot for tomatoes and peppers would likely be fine without the sunflowers included. I'll be sure to keep enough room for expanding roots.

Was also thinking about seed starters inside the house and transplanting later.

Thanks,

Bernard


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RE: Heirloom Suggestions for Colorado 5a

Bernard,

You may want to consider researching "double digging" or "French Intensive" gardening method if your garden area is not too large. It is extra work but you may reap the benefits especially if the soil has not been worked for a long time.

George

Here is a link that might be useful: double dug garden


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