Vail is a challenging place in which to grow almost anything. Its extreme altitude, poor soil, mountainous landscape, low humidity, cool summer temperatures, and exceptionally short growing season of just 88 days (on average), are a difficult combination to overcome. Add in the chance of it snowing during any month of the year because of the Vail Valley’s unpredictable weather patterns and only the most determined gardeners are up to the challenge! This is especially true if you’re trying to grow your own fresh vegetables.
A Planting Calendar Is an Essential Gardening Tool in Vail, Colorado
If you’re determined to have a vegetable garden in Vail’s uncompromising climate, let us help. Our planting calendar lists the vegetables that have the best chance of thriving in Vail, along with important planting information such as whether to plant seeds or transplants and when to plant them. It even offers handy tips such as if they need an insect cover, the best types of onions to plant, and how to get a head start in spring.
The planting calendar will lead you month-by-month through the vegetable gardening season in Vail. From planting mostly leafy greens, root crops, and onions and their relatives in March and April to how and when to plant tender treasures like tomatoes, this calendar will guide your vegetable gardening efforts.
Using season extenders like cloches, row covers, cold frames, and greenhouses can improve your chances of success even when you’re planting at the right time for each vegetable. For instance, cloches will help warm the ground for tomatoes and peppers can happily spend their entire life in the additional warmth of a cold frame.
Preparing for Your Vegetable Garden
Vegetable plants need fertile soil that can hold an ample supply of moisture without becoming soggy. Soil that remains too wet precludes essential oxygen from reaching the roots and the plants will usually die as a result. That means you’ll need to add plenty of compost to Vail’s thin, poor soil. Compost has an almost magical property of holding the perfect amount of moisture. Soil amended with compost will help give your plants the even moisture they need, without drowning them in the process!
For leafy greens like spinach and lettuce, you should also add some cottonseed meal or well-composted manure to provide them with the extra nitrogen they need to quickly grow an abundance of leaves. Don’t add it to the entire garden or your tomatoes, beans, and other fruiting crops will grow lavish foliage at the expense of edible produce.
Planting in Squares
Since raised beds tend to warm up more quickly in spring, you may want to use them for your vegetable garden. Square foot gardening is a technique used to increase productivity in raised beds while greatly reducing the amount of labor involved. The Square Foot Gardening Foundation reports that the method “… is estimated to cost 50% less, uses 20% less space, 10% of the water, and only 2% of the work compared to single row gardening.” Vegetable gardening in Vail is difficult enough as it is, so using a method that increases your crops while reducing the labor involved seems like a win-win situation!
The raised beds are filled with a combination of one-third each of blended composts (preferably five different kinds), coarse perlite, and sphagnum peat moss and/or coconut coir fiber. This rich soilless mixture eliminates almost all the weeds, soil-borne pathogens, and pests normally present in garden soil. It also retains moisture very well while still allowing vital oxygen to reach the plant roots.
Because of these perfect conditions, plants are grown much closer together than in traditional gardens and your yield per square foot is greatly improved. The plants are also usually planted in a patchwork pattern with a different type in every square. This confuses pests like Colorado bean beetles. They can’t find their favorite munchies amidst the organized chaos of a garden planted by this method! You’ll definitely appreciate having a planting calendar handy in order to keep track of when to plant each square.
Let Us Help With the Rest of Your Vail, Colorado Landscape
Leaving the rest of your yard and lawn care to our professional landscapers lets you focus your care and attention on your prized vegetable garden. We can handle everything from landscape design and installation to irrigation and sprinkler systems. Are you considering an outdoor kitchen in which to grill those garden-fresh veggies? We can work with you to design and build the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. Landscape Technology Group can handle all of your landscape needs from lawn mowing to a complete landscape design and installation.
Our Personalized Landscape Design Services:
- Landscape design and installation for residential and commercial clients
- Landscape planning for new and pre-home construction
- Courtyards and entrances
- Porches, walkways, and paved or stone patios
- Archways, pergolas, and trellises
- Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces
- Outdoor kitchens
- Waterscapes and water features
- Designing and planting flower gardens, lawns, trees, shrubs, and grasses
- Irrigation and sprinkler systems
- Outdoor lighting
With more than 20 years of landscaping experience in the Vail Valley, Landscape Technology Group has the expertise to provide excellent landscape solutions for our mountain environment. Our customers can expect lush lawns with crisp edges, enticingly beautiful flower beds, natural-looking rock formations, and landscapes that look like they’re a part of Vail’s natural beauty.
The Area's Oldest Garden Center, Proudly Serving Gypsum and the Vail Valley for More Than 40 Years
Located in Gypsum, about two miles from Eagle County Regional Airport, we proudly serve residents and business owners in the following towns and everywhere in between:
- Beaver Creek
Our customers come all the way from Vail and Beaver Creek to shop our extensive selection of healthy plants, locally-made products, and gardening supplies. It's worth the drive to visit a team of horticulture experts in the area's only garden center that offers year-round planting and an incredible variety of plants on our four-acre property. Contact us or stop by and see why we've been able to serve this area for four decades and counting.
Build a Joyful Horticulture Career With Us
If you have a passion for horticulture and love helping people connect with the plants and supplies that are best for their land and lifestyle, we'd love to hear from you. We offer year-round employment in our garden center for a variety of roles. Contact us to inquire about open positions or to apply today.
Contact Us for All Your Gardening Needs
We have fun working here, and we're committed to making sure you have fun shopping here! You'll love exploring our selection of plants and unique local gifts, and we look forward to helping you find exactly what you're looking for. Curbside and in-store pick-up are available, so contact us today to place your order or learn more about everything we have to offer at Garden Center of Gypsum.