Zone 5b Gardeners?

jasonw
By jasonw on Mon, Mar 10, 2014 - 5:20pm

My family recently move back to Colorado to live on a 40 acre homestead closer to my wife's work and we now are faced with the challenge of growing a garden at 7800'.  Looks like we will have a 90 day growing season.  Any folks out there growing at high elevations with short seasons.  Any new special tips, tricks, ideas for success?  New crop varieties to try?

Looking forward to getting some feedback. 

Jason

 

3 Comments

khuber's picture
khuber
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 20 2009
Posts: 17
high elevations

Sepp Holzer's farm on a mountain in Switzerland spans 1100 to 1500 meters. He's written several books, including 'Desert or Paradise" and "Sepp Holzer's Permaculture." All inspire.

See also http://www.richsoil.com/sepp-holzer/sepp-holzer-permaculture.jsp He will be in California and in Montana in May doing 5 day workshops. http://www.holzeragroecology.com/usa-in-may.html

Lawton's videos cover many climates. Two that might be useful to you are http://www.geofflawton.com/fe/60662-cold-climate-permaculture and http://www.geofflawton.com/fe/62716-cold-climate-future

 

ciscokid's picture
ciscokid
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 3 2011
Posts: 10
High altitude permaculture

Hi Jason,

I too am in CO and at high elevation 7400'.  In my research I've come across the CRMPI (Co Rocky Mtn Permaculture institute) out on the western slope near Basalt.  They have done amazing work in creating a food forest in tough conditions/landscape. 

Also as Khuber mentions, the Lawton videos are helpful as well.  If you come up with any new ideas or information, please pass it along.

 

Best.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1982
Zone 5b

I gardened in that zone for years, albeit at sea level. One huge thing to keep up with in that zone is starting your flats indoors. With a 90-day growing season, you need every season-extending trick you can get.

Another obvious season-extender is a greenhouse or cold frame of some sort.

You're already into intercropping so you will get the best use of your arable land, but my friends in CO suggest you keep an eye out for wind direction and strength in your new location. They also said that if you have hilly land, keep water-holding berms and terracing in mind.

I suppose you have to know that you're now near one of the best permaculture communities in the country.

http://hialtpc.org/ and http://www.pikespeakpermaculture.org/

...should have all kinds of local resources. Let us know how you get on!

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