Moorcroft Leader - The Voice of the Community Since 1909, Serving Moorcroft and Pine Haven, Wyoming

By Criss Neiman
Master Gardener 

Gardening in Wyoming


March 7, 2019

This week we’re going to talk about vegetables, as most gardeners in this area plant food gardens. Did you know that a vegetable garden is the highest maintenance type of garden there is?

Almost all the plants are annuals, allowing us to focus on productivity; we want to eat early and often! Consumption of fresh raw vegetables in greater diversity has grown 22 percent in the last ten years with a higher emphasis on flavor, quality and nutrition.

The safety of the vegetables we bring to our table has become an important concern as well. People eat raw and minimally cooked vegetables as we better understand the value to our health.

The vegetable line-up this season is salad crops, including:

The cabbage family which are recognized for their cancer preventative properties

Ethnic choices, Hispanic, Italian and Oriental vegetables

Colored items, lettuce, peppers and potatoes

These vegetables are great for making salads, snacks and soups; they can be canned and/or frozen for the winter without losing their nutritional value as well.

What we need here is a plan – and, like any good plan, a garden plan should include:

Knowing your goals

Locating and designing your garden beds

Deciding what you want to grow

Creating a timeline; some plants ripen early and others later

Then, laying out plantings in beds

Let’s start with the outline; how to meet your goals.

If you have your own property with which to work, that’s great; however, Moorcroft boasts a community garden that allows even those who do not have access to a yard or land of their own to enjoy the gift of gardening. Another gift of community gardening, besides the delicious food, is the building of friendships while you plant, grow and harvest alongside neighbors.

Timing is important so that you plant early enough to allow your vegetables the longest season possible, yet not risk a late frost that will kill them. The Crook County area is considered Region 4 and most outdoor planting is started in the last week of May or the first week of June.

This brings us to the planting calendar and subsequently succession and relay planting.

Spatial layout; plant layout (structural needs, height considerations, spacing rows versus wide beds) and companion plants/interplanting

Space x time – rotation

Join me next week for The Plan. Remember this is an interactive conversation and questions are welcome. Please email [email protected] or write to the Master Gardener c/o Moorcroft Leader, P. O. Box 67, Moorcroft, WY 82721.

Next article – Now for the Plan


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