Growing Garlic In Colorado

I am a big fan of growing garlic in Colorado. There are several reasons why. But first, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

growing garlic in colorado

Besides the love of sitting together with others as we prepare the garlic for storage, I also love curly garlic scapes.

bowl of garlic scapes in Colorado

A bowl full of garlic scapes I harvested to use in our cooking. Photo: ColoradoBackyardGardener.Com

I also love growing garlic in Colorado because

Growing Peppers In Colorado

If you are like me, growing peppers in Colorado has challenged you. About five years ago I gave up all together. I don’t give up easily on things. Obviously, I wasn’t having much success! But in the past couple years, I’ve returned to the challenge of growing peppers. I’ve zeroed in and tried to learn some tricks. Since then I have had better success! I even had enough peppers to roast and freeze. I still want to get better at this. But I do have a few tips to share with you.

Growing Peppers in Colorado

What are these tips? I have published another Colorado Backyard Gardener Handy Dandy Gardening Guide. You’ll find the link at the very end of

Growing Tomatoes in Colorado

It is possible to have great success at growing tomatoes in Colorado. As you know, I am not a professional gardener. I am a normal average Colorado backyard gardener just like many of you who read here. In most years, I have grown my vegetables and flowers on a budget, some years more lean than others. Because of my budget, I have had to learn how to grow a great tomato without breaking the bank.

Growing tomatoes in Colorado is similar to growing tomatoes in other states, but there are five unique concerns that I think should be addressed. That is why I have published another Handy Dandy Gardening Guide: Growing A Great Tomato for Colorado gardeners.

For a limited time, you can download the pdf for free by clicking here: Growing A Great Tomato. Be sure to share this with your Colorado gardening friends. They’ll be glad you did.

Gardening Failure

I don’t want to have any gardening failure this year. I don’t. But I will. Darn it. I will. Some plants will croak and die. But can I diminish my failures? Yes, by learning to learn from each and every snafu.

Gardening failure

As I work to create my 2015 garden plan, I face three BIG questions: what, where and when.

gardening failure


What plants?

Where to place each plant?

When to plant the seeds for each plant?

I call the what, where and when questions BIG because answering each requires me to be courageous. Why?

Handy Dandy Gardening Guide: Growing Great Peas

It’s almost spring! I want to celebrate this fact. I want to continue to wait well in this season of winter. As a way to do that, I’m providing one of my Handy Dandy Colorado Gardening Guides! These guides are not always available so be sure to share with your friends. For some people, growing green things helps nurture hope. This guide is about Growing Great Peas here in Colorado. Did you know that you can plant them in late March/early April?!?! Wahoo!

Click here to download this guide: [Note: as of 3/26/15 this guide is available by signing up to receive my newsletter over on the right hand side of this page.]

There are other handy gardening tips and articles on my blog. And as I continue to build this blog, there will be more to come! You may want to signup for my newsletter over on the right hand side of this page. I only send it out 2-3 times a month. I don’t believe in slamming people’s in boxes.  If you do sign up, it’s a great way to NOT miss the other Handy Dandy Colorado Gardening Guides and other blog posts about gardening and hope.

If you want to read more of my blog here are a few links:

Click here to go to my blog.  You can scroll there or use the drop down boxes to peruse other handy tips and recipes.

I also share about finding, nurturing and sustaining hope in the midst of pain, sorrow and loss.  You can read here about this.

Or, read here if you want to know about me, Laura Flanders. Not that I’m that interesting, but just in case you are wondering.

Or, read here if you’d like to read stories about how I am nurturing hope in the midst of  my mother’s Alzheimer’s journey. It’s hard! But there certainly are gifts to be found.

Or….just click around because you are an adult and you know what you want and what to do.


Laura Flanders, Colorado Backyard Gardener

Late Summer Salad

It is mid September here in Colorado.  We had some really cold weather last week, so cold I had to cover up my garden goodies two nights in a row.  But this week it has been in the low 80’s and I am finding a few gems out in my backyard garden.

Late summer salad beautifully arranged on a white plate.

Finding gems.

Late summer is a time for that.  I may think my pole beans are done, but I find a few more on the vine.  And then I peek close to the ground and see a few last cucumbers.  That one more ripe tomato makes me scream with delight.  Am I being melodramatic? Yes, I am and I don’t care.  A garden is worthy of drama.

If you are a gardener,

Tomato Blossom End Rot

It’s August and those of us who garden might be encountering tomato blossom end rot.  Yuk!  What to do?  As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I like to keep things simple.  So here is what I do to battle this nasty disease.

If this is the case for you, never fear, the plant may still have time to produce some good fruit.  Pick off this bad fruit and toss it.  And then fertilize your plant with a fertilizer that is made for tomatoes.  Why one for tomatoes?  Because it will have just a tad more calcium than a fertilizer made for “all vegetables”.  See this post of mine for what I use.  I keep the fertilizing process very simple in my garden.  First, I’m not a master gardener so keeping it simple works better for me.  And, I have a very busy life with my full time job, caring for my mother and my volunteering gigs so “keeping it simple” is my garden way.  Also I have a fairly small gardening budget so I can’t spent a lot on fertilizer (and some are very expensive).

So why is this blossom end rot occurring?  I believe

Easy Beet Salad

The first time I ate a beet was 24 hours after I gave birth to my son Ryan by C-Section. It was my first meal. Beets were on the plate. Canned beets. And they were sooooooo good. About two weeks later I bought a can of sliced beets. And they were soooooo gross. I guess I was hungry that day in the hospital.

Fast forward to an evening in Vail, Colorado where my brother, my personal chef and my mother and I were on a get-away. My brother treated us to a fancy dinner and we ordered a roasted beet salad. “It tastes like the earth,” my brother remarked. This was a compliment of course because that salad was sooooooo good.

So I started to grow beets. And now I will never NOT grow them. Never ever.  Keep reading for an easy recipe below. 

Some pea plants grow 2 feet tall.  Others grow 7-8 feet tall.

This year I had to get up on my tip toes to pick the pods off these vines.  Crazy fun!  I can’t tell you how much my garden has given me joy and hope.  I remember when I used to have just 5-6 pots on my little deck in the city of Seattle.  That gave me joy too.  Watching something grow reminds us that we are meant for life, even when we are in the midst of experiencing death.

Growing Warm Season Vegetables

Colorado State University Extention

Yes, there are some veggies you can put in the ground as early as April.  But others need to WAIT until the temperatures at night are 50 degrees or higher.  Check out the link above for information on what can go in the ground AFTER the last frost date here in the Front Range.  If you are like me and don’t want to check the weather forecast, just shoot for Mother’s Day, knowing that there is little chance of a freeze overnight.  Little chance, but not impossible.simple_sun_motif

Believe me, I’ve made the mistake of putting in peppers FAR TOO EARLY.  But that is what you have to be willing to do when you garden — BE WILLING TO MAKE MISTAKES.