Gardening Magazine

Growing Veggies in High Altitudes

By Kate_miller
Growing Veggies in High Altitudes

A fellow gardener wrote to me wondering if I knew of any vegetables that will grow in high altitudes.
Well, let's see. For starters there's Beans, Beets, Carrots, Corn, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Tomatoes...
Surprised? All of these yummy veggies will grow at high altitudes. Just give 'em a little TLC plus O.F. (organic fertilizer!)
Growing Veggies in High Altitudes
AND! Time your garden differently.
* The heartache of a Memorial Day frost is pretty much guaranteed at altitudes of 6,000 feet or higher.
Garden shops advise April/May planting for vegetables and that's why we feel left out.
* We mountain gardeners need to plant on June 1st and expect a later harvest.
* May nights are too cold for little seedlings. Mature plants are much tougher. They can handle cool night temperatures in September.
Get creative. 

Most quality seed shops offer cold-hardy and fast-growing varieties. You won't find see this produce at grocery store and the names might not be familiar... But, there are many varieties of tomatoes that mature in less than 60 days. (Thank the hybridizing experts in Russia and Canada for these breakthroughs.)
Growing Veggies in High AltitudesPlant favorite veggies with a 90-day growing cycle. 

Experiment with root vegetables that mature in 120 days. The soils stays warm, protecting potatoes.
Raised beds help a great deal.
Soil warms faster in the spring, helping seeds to sprout quicker. With raised beds, you can easily amend the soil. Veggies need lots of soil nutrients to produce a good harvest and mountain soil is generally short on what's needed.
Good Veggie Choices for High Altitude Gardens

    Growing Veggies in High Altitudes
  • Bush and Pole Beans = 60 days
  • Beets = 50-70 days
  • Carrots = 90 days
  • Sweet Corn = 60 - 90 days
  • Cucumbers = 90 days
  • Lettuce = 70-90 days
  • Peas = 60 days
  • Potatoes = 90 - 120 days
  • Radishes = 30 days
  • Spinach = 45 - 90 days
  • Tomatoes* = 55 - 90 days

Growing Veggies in High Altitudes* Popular Beefsteak Tomatoes grow too slow but other varieties do very well. 90-day growth cycle or shorter: Alaskan Fancy, Aztec, Orange Blossom, Health Kick Hybrid, Abraham Lincoln Heirloom, Russian Heirloom.. and many more.


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