New homeowners look forward to many things. One of the best things about home ownership is planting your own garden. There are so many benefits to having a garden. They’re beautiful, therapeutic and cost effective. Before new Denver homeowners get started planting a garden, here are some tips to consider.
Always call before digging a garden bed. Local utility companies may have buried lines running through your new property. Running into a power line with a garden shovel could cause power outages, injury and even death. Call your utility company for assistance. Set up an appointment to have them mark buried lines at your new Denver home. Water and sewer should be located as well.
Most Denver soil is clay. Pick up your soil and squeeze it. If it sticks together, it’s primarily clay. Still, you should always analyze your soil to be sure. Kits are available at most home and garden stores. These will also tell you what type of general amendments need to be added to your garden soil. Consult garden books for advice on what fertilizers work best with each individual plant.
Note: Denver clay soil usually does best when amended with clean sawdust or vermiculite and organic fertilizer.
New homeowners will be delighted to know that Denver gets an above average amount of sunshine. Vegetable gardens need 6 hours of sunlight per day. The drawback is that Denver does not get a lot of water. Water use for homeowners is restricted in summer months, so be sure to familiarize yourself with watering schedules. Hand watering is always allowed.
There are a few plants that simply will not produce in clay soil. It may be necessary for new Denver homeowners to till in other mixes or use raised beds. Root vegetables, for instance, need loose, well drained soil. These do best in Denver when grown in raised beds. A layer of rocks at the bottom of the bed provides adequate drainage. Soil can be customized, dependent on the plant.
New Denver homeowners just moving to the area may not be accustomed to working in hot dry climates with high altitude. Be sure to use sunblock and protective clothing. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated. Heat stroke is a very real possibility in Denver. Altitude sickness may be an additional concern. It takes time to grow acclimated to the Mile High City but it’s time well spent!