The Colorado Gardener’s Companion – Excerpt

The Colorado Gardener’s Companion: An Insider’s Guide to Gardening in the Centennial State

Introduction

Every garden in every corner of our state is different, but they all have one thing in common: They’re tended by Colorado gardeners. Gardeners here have to cope with the challenges of a semiarid climate and soil that is rocky, sandy, or made of clay. Some areas struggles with a lack of snow cover in the winter and intense sunshine in the summer. Drying winds desiccate plant roots. Extreme temperature fluctuations frustrate even the most steadfast gardener.

If you’re new to Colorado, you might not see the pleasure of gardening here. If you’ve arrived from one of those places where every seed you planted flourished and you never had trouble growing tomatoes, you may already have thrown in the trowel. If you’ve been gardening here a while, with luck you’ve learned how to make the most of what we have.

Gardening in Colorado may seem like an extreme sport, but it has its advantages, too. Because of our low humidity, there are fewer insect pests and plant diseases. We can grow beautiful lawns, flowers, shrubs, and trees. We also get to garden in some of the most scenic areas of the country.

This book is designed to help you get more from your Colorado gardening experience. Over a dozen experts from around the state–most of them gardeners just like you–provide advice and information for both the novice and experienced gardener. You’ll learn how to take advantage of gardening in our dry climate and ways for dealing with the challenges of our wild weather. Practical, down-to-earth tips are included for flower and vegetable gardening, planting trees, dealing with pests and landscaping to conserve water. Specific plant recommendations, from annuals to native perennials, are included throughout the book.

Success as a Colorado gardener has to do with amending the soil, encouraging healthy roots and selecting the right plants. You’ll notice these are recurring themes throughout the book. If you master these, you’re well on your way to growing great gardens.

Someone once told me, “If you’re not killing plants, you’re not really gardening.” I took that adage to heart. I’ve made plenty of mistakes while gardening along the Front Range, but I’ve done a few things right along the way. I had a vision for my landscape and worked hard to accomplish it, and today that vision is a reality. My hope is this book helps make your garden dreams come true, too.

Copyright © 2007 Jodi Torpey
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