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