A Home Garden in CO Clay

Where it began…

I like to believe that I was born with a “green thumb”. I grew up on a Long Island canal and our home was always easy to spot from the water (well actually it was hard to see the house) but everyone knew which one it was because of the rich green growth of exotic flowers and vegetables.  The soil in our backyard was sandy and had its challenges but that didn’t stop my dad (a crazy Italian from Brooklyn) from having his own farmers market.  I learned a lot about gardening from those years. You name it we grew it!


Above is a picture of the backyard of our Long Island home. You can see what I mean…Where is the house? Unfortunately another obstacle NY gardeners face are the hurricanes.  After Sandy all this growth was gone permanently!  I’ll save that for a future post!

OK NOW LETS RELATE THIS BACK TO COLORADO GARDENING…..the point is gardening is a happy place for me.  I grew up with fresh salads in my backyard! I have been determined to continue that tradition each year.

Colorado you  have been making it hard to love this gardening thing….We may not have hurricanes and sandy soil in Colorado but we have HAIL, CLAY SOIL and now a family bunnies (that are so adorable by the way). Luckily I don’t have to worry about deer where I live but other wildlife could be a problem.

Here is what I have been working with for 6 years.  A strip of earth lining the back of our yard. When we moved in to this home in Littelton the earth was pretty much solid clay.  Year after year we turn it with some new soil and peat moss.  We manage to grow herbs, carrots, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, watermelon, squash, and sometime potatoes in the barrels not visible in this photo.  I know it doesn’t look like there is room for all that, but we did it!  We have also been successful at growing raspberries and blueberries.  We usually start our plants from seeds inside our home.  To all my neighbors, those are just normal veggies growing in the front window. These seeds below are about 2 weeks old. Awe…Can you guess which plant is in the lead?

Another challenge we face in Colorado different from Long Island is the growing season.  You learn quickly not to plant anything until after Mothers Day.  Even planting that early is risky.  Until I moved to Colorado I had never experience snow on my birthday (May 3rd)!  I’ll start to prepare the soil around Mothers Day and will write a new post when I’m ready to start planting.