This is the perfect time to spruce up your yard and get the whole family involved. Keep reading for pointers on what to plant, how to plant it, and how to manage your delightful outdoor space in our Colorado climate.
IN THE ZONE (5)
Did you know that there are 13 different “hardiness zones” defined by the USDA? Each zone is categorized by its overall climate conditions, especially temperature. And here in Colorado, we’re considered Zone 5b.
In Zone 5, the best time to grow annual flowers is between the last frost in mid-May and the first frost in mid-October. For certain vegetables, you can start a bit earlier and harvest a bit later.
LET’S START GARDENING
Getting started in the spring is ideal, and also helps you select what variety of flowers or vegetables you may be planting.
Since in Zone 5 we’re just coming out of our last frost in May, you should stick to cold-hearty flowers and cool season vegetables. Think pinks, and purples, and whites, like Tulips, Pansies, Snapdragons and Alyssum. Or, think underground, like carrots, onions and radishes.
WHERE AND WHAT ARE YOU PLANTING?
Raised planting beds? Fresh ground in your backyard? Where you plant and what you plant there should be taken into consideration for a good yield of flowers or vegetables.
Our soil is pretty rough and tough, especially at the beginning of the season. And it may not have all the nutrients your plants need. So, if you’ve got the time (and the budget) to opt for raised planting beds then go for it! You’ll have more control over soil conditions, moisture, and soil density.
However, if perennials are a part of your game plan, find good ground as they need what the Earth gives them throughout the year, even in the winter when we’re not paying attention to our plant beds.
KEEP IT NICE, NEAT AND TIDY
Whether you opt for uniformity or abstraction when planting flowers, just keep them spaced appropriately. Planting flowers too close to each other makes them compete for resources, and planting them too far apart causes a patchy garden. When you see withered flower heads, remove them! Doing so allows the plant to use its resources efficiently.
And we’ve totally neglected the big green patch in front of your home. Your lawn!
If you haven’t already, make sure to aerate and fertilize your lawn as soon as the last frost is over. Do you have Buffalo grass, or another warm-season grass species? Then you may want to wait to fertilize until it starts to green.
Finally, to conserve water and keep your lawn green and lush, don’t cut too much off the top. Keep the mower blade high enough for 2.5”-high grass blades.
For a helpful guide, and easy list of what-to-grow-this-year, check out the Zone 5 – Vegetable Planting Calendar Guide via usfeeds.com.