High-Altitude Cold-Climate Gardening Series Part 1 of 5
Guest Posts by Willow Creek Farm
Farmgal “As my readers know, I love to garden, its a huge part of our farm and our life all year long.. I also enjoy reading other homestead/garden/natural living blogs and one of the ones I have been reading for a number of years is WillowCreakfarm. She did a outstanding Garden Series in 4 posts in regards to Gardening on the side of a mountain”
So for my readers that are growing on more marginal land, for those that are zone 2/3 and those that deal with super short garden seasons… These guest posts are for you!
As the snow flies outside my mind begins to go to gardening. Even though our last frost isn’t until early June, we actually start gardening in March with indoor seed starting, so January and February are usually my garden planning months.
We face many challenges gardening in the high-altitude (above 7,500 feet) Rocky Mountains including:
- steep, rocky terrain
- rocky soil – decomposed granite that wont retain moisture, is low in nutrients, and doesn’t hold heat, plus ample amounts of pine needles constantly falling, adding too much acidity to the soil
- wildlife – especially deer and elk, bears, rabbits, gophers, raccoons, chipmunks, voles, and other rodents
- very short growing season (about 77 days frost to frost)
- cold, windy, dry climate – summer days average 70sF and summer nights drop into 40sF with low humidity
But over the many years we have been gardening here we have learned a lot of tricks to make our garden successful. Last year our garden boasted over 490 lbs of produce harvested from about 500 square feet of plantable garden space.
So as we plan our garden for this spring I would like to share a series with you on how we have made our garden so successful in the high-altitude Rocky Mountains.
I will be sharing a post each day for the next four days and then I am going to ask very nicely if there are questions for Willow Creek to answer some of them and post that as the Round up post in this series this week.