Colorado & spring planting: when is the right to time to get started?

When is the right time to plant? FOX21 News, Sarah Ferguson

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Right now, gardeners are preparing ahead of next week’s cool down. With Colorado’s irregular weather, a lot of people wonder: when is it really the right time to starting planting?

Turns out, while you’ll want to wait on things like tomatoes and peppers, things that have leaves and roots can actually make it through this next cold spell.

“Things like carrots, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, you can get those things planted outside, and even onions you can get planted in your garden, this time of year,” said Larry Stebbins, Director of Pikes Peak Urban Gardens.

Stebbins said cool weather crops like kale are okay to plant now, but you’ll want to wait on other things.

“Anything with a fruit on it, such as a tomato, a pepper, squash, those sorts of things, you need to wait until all danger of frost is passed, and that’s usually the second and third week in May,” said Stebbins.

He said if you’re looking to get a head start, you may have luck planting broccoli.

“You’re going to have to cover them, and we like milk jugs, those one gallon types. Cut off the bottom, keep the lid off, set it up right on top of it until the weather starts to stabilize,” said Stebbins.

Local gardener Wendy Crawford said it’s also a great time to plant evergreens.

“They don’t care if it snows next weekend. They don’t care if its going to be 100 degrees this summer. Once they get established, they can pretty much just live on the natural rainfall we get,” said Crawford.

And if animals in your neighborhood are causing worry, Crawford said look to perennials.

“We have a lot of deer in this neighborhood, and they’re all deer resistant, because they’re naturally poisonous,” said Crawford.

For all else, she said to cover up your plants and hope they last Colorado’s wild weather. If you’re looking to protect your plants just for a day or two, grab a bed sheet, lay rocks on top of it, and remove it when the weather clears.

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