CSU Veggie Trials

veggie-garden-student-run-csu-perc-lah-094-nx-1How many times do we read a description in a seed catalog, order the seeds, then find ourselves disappointed with the results? Our Colorado climate and soil conditions make for some challenging gardening, and varieties that thrive in other parts of the country just don’t do as well here.

Thankfully, we have a state university providing us with research-based information especially suited to our high and dry gardens. From 2004 through 2008, CSU trialed an assortment of potential commercial crops, comparing varieties to discover which, if any, do well here. The results are available on their website under the heading “The Rocky Mountain Small Organic Farm Project.”

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Gardening Advice You Can Trust

Growing one’s own food is back in vogue. Community gardens are springing up in cities, suburbanites are trading lawns for lettuce, and even the White House is cultivating everything from arugula to heirloom tomatoes.

If you’ve never grown vegetables before, the task may seem daunting, but it really isn’t that hard. For one thing, there’s plenty of advice available. However, not every suggestion deserves a place in your yard; some sources are more reliable than others. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of plain hogwash being circulated as garden advice.

If you are planning on growing vegetables—or fruit, or any kind of garden, really—I highly recommend you do some research before beginning. It’s a good idea to look for local sources of information, as growing conditions vary so much from place to place. Generalized gardening books and magazines are helpful, but most tend to be slanted toward the eastern part of the country. Growing anything in Colorado is a much different challenge.

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