Hi Altitude Gardening
  Re: (0...)
Hi, I'm new to this site. I live at 8500 ft in the Rockies. Is there anyone here who has knowledge of high altitude gardening?
  Re: Hi Altitude Gardening by jbgrn777 (Hi, I'm new to this ...)
Coolsville! I did a stint as a research assistant in Gothic, Colorado (about 9,500 ft.), and I remember very well how beautiful all the wildflowers were around our study sites (and all the very steep trails we had to hike up to get to them!!). Off the top of my head, I recall lots of columbine, Indian paintbrush, lupine and delphinium (both spike and mounding types). Also lots of low-growing alpine type stuff. Unfortunately, I've forgotten a lot of the names. Sad

My best advice for perennials is to look around and see what's growing this spring/summer/fall in your neighbors' gardens and in the landscape around you. For annuals, choose types that grow and start to bloom very quickly, and probably avoid ones that are extremely frost sensitive (e.g.- impatiens, coleus) unless they're in pots that you can pull inside overnight and put back out in the morning. Also, definitely contact your local county extension office to find out what the average last/first frost dates are. Building terraces may be a good idea if you plan to garden on a sloping hillside.

As far as veggies, if you're interested in those, a cold frame will be essential to extend your very short growing season (I remember getting 2" of snow on June 14th!). You'll want to browse the catalogs to find varieties with the shortest growing times. You may be unable to grow melons and winter squash due to their uniformly longer growing times, but with the right varieties, some luck with the weather and a bit of extra effort on your part, tomatoes, eggplant and corn could be possible. Most salad fixins, peas and other cool weather crops should do very well. Oh, but be sure to get a very high fence and/or LOTS of deer repellant if you want to be able to eat anything that you sow!

I hope some of this helps. Good luck, and keep us up to date. I'd be interested to know how things go for you! Smile
The great thing about gardening is that you always get a chance to start over!
  Re: Re: Hi Altitude Gardening by IntrepidMeredith (Coolsville! I did a ...)
I live west of Denver in the foothills of the Rockies ... our garden centers have a good selection for you 'higher' high altitude gardeners, including short season veggies. Perhaps those in your area will also carry selections for your altitude. Good Luck!

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