People who have never been to the Colorado Rocky Mountain area have misconceptions about Gardening and Farming here. Either potential buyers think that it gardening and farming can’t be done at all or think they can grow anything here.
Things grown in the Colorado Rocky Mountain area include : grapes, peaches, hay, backyard tomatoes, corn, wheat, sheep, beef and more.
1)The Rocky Mountains are made of ROCK, much of it is granite. Soil is washed down mountain sides with snow melt into the valleys and rivers in lower elevations. There is very little natural top soil.
2)Elevation is a factor, depending on the crop there may not be enough oxygen, sunshine or water. At an elevation of 8000 feet there are approx. 100 frost free days on average to grow. Plants can be started in a protected area and transferred outside.
3)Wind is a HUGE factor in the Rocky Mountains. No matter the elevation you should expect wind damage to gardens, windows and roofs. For small gardens use straw bales stacked 2 or 3 high to protect against the wind.
4)Animals like salads as much as we do. Deer and antelope will get around fencing, contact Dept. of Wildlife for the correct kind of fencing. The wrong kind of fencing will not protect your garden and may injure or kill wildlife.
5)Hail is a major factor in the Rockies, ask any roofer. Hail storms are very common in the summer. Hardware cloth or screening will help your garden with some of smaller hail.
Buyers who have never been to Colorado often have no idea what it means to live in the mountains. Driveways aren’t flat. Flat lands to grow crops on are not common. Snow plows and plows on the front of pickup trucks are common. Buyers expecting to move to the Colorado Rockies should do their homework. The Rocky Mountains here are like no other. Fourteeners are not just tourist attractions – it’s where we live!
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Dena Stevens “Putting the ‘real’ into REALTOR since 2004
Originally published Sept 2011