Gardening at higher altitudes is possible

5435830 - senior gardenersGardening is an engaging hobby that provides plenty of valuable life lessons, especially so at higher altitudes.

Areas located about 5,000 feet are home to thinner air, cooler temperatures and shorter growing seasons, which can make achieving bountiful harvests difficult, but undoubtedly possible. So what’s the trick to mountain gardening success? Let’s take a look at a couple of important considerations.

Plant early if possible. One of the most obvious differences between high altitude and sea-level gardening is the length of the growing season. In places like Illinois and Tennessee, there are generally at least 90 or more days without frost, which makes planting and maturation easy for a variety of common vegetables.

At mile high heights, you have between 20 and 30 fewer days to harvest. When the spring arrives, it’s time to start tilling and planting ASAP.

Choose hearty vegetables. Delicate, warm weather plants aren’t going to handle mountain storms or shady afternoons very well, especially if they require 90 degree temperatures or full sunlight. Classic fare like bell peppers, tomatoes and even zucchini are all acceptable and resilient enough to provide great results.

Plan for frost. Toward the middle of September it’s time to start thinking about the arrival of Jack Frost. Have plastic tablecloths or old sheets on hand. If you’re concerned about losing any of your plants to frost, cover them up prior to going to bed.

By following these simple suggestions, you’re sure to have some success in your high elevation gardening endeavors.