Growing Vegetables in the Mountains

Category Vegetables
When living at a high altitude your garden growing season can be limited. This page is about growing vegetables in the mountains.


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February 15, 2006


We live in the mountains west of Canon City, Colorado. For many years I have tried to grow a vegetable garden that would yield a crop of more than just a few items from the plants. We have tested the soil and put in several things. Watered every day or every other day as suggested but don't get a very good crop. Has anyone had this problem and been able to overcome it? Our growing season is short. We plant about the first or second week in June due to frost problems. Thanks for your help.




Your mountain conditions can certainly provide some unique challenges-soil, sun intensity, site considerations, length of growing season, etc. High altitude soil has a tendency to be alkaline due to the fact that rain has less of an opportunity to wash out salts. Most vegetables like soil that is neutral to slightly acidic.


I would suggest getting a pH monitor to keep tabs on your soil's pH levels. You can compensate for low acid levels by adding some type of sulfate to the soil. Also, take advantage of the acidic nature of pine needles by using them for mulch and mixing them into the soil.

Try using short season seeds or starting seeds indoors. There are several reputable dealers on the Internet who can supply you with a catalog if you can't find seeds locally. There are also many good books and Internet resources specifically on high altitude growing.

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February 19, 2011

What flowers or plants can possibly grow at 11,000 feet in altitude with high winds, brutal sun, and snow storms year round?

Hardiness Zone: 4a


By JULIE from Alma, CO


February 20, 20110 found this helpful

Alpines, possibly? The mountains are their native habitat and they have some beautiful flowers. A windbreak or sheltered location for planting would help too. You could also check to see what wildflowers grow native in your area and try those.

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