The biggest challenge to home gardeners in Denver, Colorado is the unpredictability of the weather. It’s not uncommon to go from rain to snow to sun and high temperatures in Denver – sometimes all in a single day! The challenging climate can leave many gardeners unsure of what to do while their precious seedlings succumb to the elements.
Understand the Altitude
Denver’s high altitude can make or break a successful garden. Because of the high elevation of the city, the sun is more intense than in other parts of the country. Plants require sunlight to perform photosynthesis and to grow. However, too much sunlight can be damaging. Intense sun in the afternoon can cause gardens to brown and dry out.
Combat the harsh Denver sun by choosing a location that’s sunny in the morning and shady later in the day. If you don’t have a location like that in your yard, a simple shade cloth can help block some of the most intense afternoon rays.
Watch the Weather
In Denver, rain can be light one moment and a heavy downpour the next. Heavy rain can damage plants and ravage a garden. Make sure you have covers ready in the event that heavy rain is predicted or comes on unexpectedly. Your shade-cloth can work double duty as a rain cover in a pinch.
In addition to heavy rains, wind and hail are the other main concerns in Denver. Strong winds can blow away mulch and dry out plants. Tall plants can topple over and get broken in the winds. A windbreaker like a fence or a row of trees near your garden can save delicate plants from strong gusts.
Worse than heavy rain or wind is hail. In very little time, 1/4-inch hail can completely destroy a garden. With the frequency of hail storms in Denver, it’s a good idea to have a cover handy for approaching storms. Again, this is where your shade cloth will come in handy. You can also use buckets or even a tarp quickly suspended above the garden.
Once you’ve taken measures to protect your garden from Colorado’s wild weather, it’s time to turn the soil, add some fertilizer and plant your favorite flowers and vegetables. Gardening is a great hobby, so don’t let a little rain or hail stand in the way of growing your favorite plants.