Gardening at high altitude

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by montain_dweller, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. montain_dweller

    montain_dweller Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2011
    Continental divide
    I am looking for tips on having a more yielding garden this summer. After years of meager greens and a few potatoes I really want to bump up my game.
    The town I live in gets sun from 8-6 max but from there the sun is behind the mountains. Peas always do well, but I want more then peas.
    This season I am planning to do raised container beds, inside a PVC hoop house. Hoping that the hoop house will extend the season Long enough to place the new plants out in the beds as early as possible.
    Being that it snows in June here, hoping to get some ideas from people on how to avoid early or late frost and freeze damage
     
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Try something like what this guy did:

    http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/2504/cold-frame-gardening/page/all


    I have found the things that help are:

    - as the snow starts to melt, toss on a light layer of ash, it will melt faster
    - the beds have to drain well, make sure that can happen
    - a sheet of plastic over the bed can help it warm up faster. You can use the plastic right on the bed until you think the seeds will start to germinate.
    - only water with warm water
    - embrace the fact that you live where it is cold and find stuff that loves it there. Chives are a winner, you can eat the buds, the flowers, and all of the leaves. They are slow to establish, but after that are fantastic.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Do what ever you can to enhance the microclimate. A stone wall, or for any matter, any wall to the north of your garden. If the garden can have a gentle slope to the south, that will help as well. Take advantage of reflective surfaces. I'm wondering if the silver inner surface of some potato chip bags could be placed shiny side up to reflect light on to your plants. If you can get storm windows from the recycle store (I can pick them up at the local dump every spring) You can make a frame that is closed on all 4 sides with glass, open at the top. Cover the top with plastic at beginning and end of the growing season. Use flat dark stones at the base of your plants to catch and hold heat. You can make a very cheap cold frame out of hay bales lined up to the north, east and west, open on the south, covered with plastic on top and south. Grow short season crops.
     
  4. montain_dweller

    montain_dweller Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2011
    Continental divide
    Thanks for the great ideas. I am going to attempt to grow something in a straw bale, and have a cold frame set up, just need to build more.
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    If you straw bale garden, be prepared to water daily. Also, it takes a minimum of 2 weeks to prepare a bale for gardening.
     

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