Gardening for Beginners
From choosing the right location, to soil, fertilizer, and what to plant in your garden, this video is a short and complete guide to getting started with vegetable gardening in Colorado for beginners. Please like and subscribe for helpful tips on real estate and other home related subjects.

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Hi, I’m John Schultz, owner of JDS Home Inspection Services in Denver, Colorado. I’ve produced several videos on home-related subjects, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about something I’m very passionate about. I love being a home inspector, but I also love spending time in my garden. Many new homeowners have never had a lawn before, let alone a garden, and starting from scratch can be a daunting prospect. The most important thing to consider is location. Most vegetables require six to eight hours of sunlight per day, so choose an area of the yard that’s bright and warm for your vegetable garden. Typically, the south side is best. Don’t waste time and resources building a huge garden when just a few beds will do. Start small and choose a location where you can expand down the road. Raised beds are great for Colorado climate. Raising the soil level keeps the soil warm so we can plant earlier in the season. Having the right soil for your garden is key. Nutrient rich amendments can be added to the existing soil in the form of compost or other organic matter like manure. Fresh planting soil can be purchased to fill your new beds. Don’t use potting soil in the garden, as this is specially formulated for containers to retain moisture. I recommend running a soil test to see what the quality of your native soil is before amending it. Everyone wants to grow tomatoes, because everybody can. They come in a wide array of shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors, and are relatively forgiving, so they’re a great starter for the beginning gardener. Vining tomatoes can be space hogs. The larger you allow these plants to grow, the less energy they invest in the fruits, so cut them back to keep them producing. Tapering off your watering as the fruits ripen will concentrate the flavor, making for super tasty tomatoes. Another popular vegetable to grow in Colorado is peppers since they’re fairly low maintenance. Peppers come in a variety of sizes, colors, and spiciness, but no matter which variety you choose, you’ll need to start your seeds indoors or purchase transplants from the garden center. Sweet peppers need about three months to mature, while hotter varieties need as many as four or five months. The growing season in Colorado isn’t long enough to plant seeds directly in the ground. These guys need support in the garden to keep the wind from blowing them over. I recommend growing peppers in pots. They benefit from having their roots constrained and are one of the few vegetables that are actually a perennial; meaning you can bring them inside and keep them growing through the fall and winter months. Peppers of different varieties can cross-pollinate, so it’s important to keep them separated in the garden or you may end up with spicy sweet peppers and jalapenos with no heat at all. If you enjoy cooking, consider an herb garden. Many herbs come from the Mediterranean region and do well in the dry conditions of Colorado. Rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano are not only useful in the kitchen but make attractive accent plants in containers as well. Planted in pots, most herbs are happy to grow in a sunny kitchen window all year round. Some herbs like basil require more water and should be planted separately. If your basil starts to flower, snip them off so the plant will continue to focus its energy into the leaves. I try to fertilize once a week, but once every three weeks is enough for most plants depending on the season. I use a liquid feed with kelp but any broad-spectrum fertilizer will do. If you don’t have the space for a large garden, consider container gardening. Do bear in mind that plants in pots need to be watered twice as often as plants in the ground. With the decline of bee populations throughout the world, it’s more important than ever to protect our pollinators. Investing in a beehive is a great option to ensure your garden plants are always pollinated, but another option is to plant a bee bed. This is a bed devoted to flowers that pollinators love, like borage, asters, black-eyed-Susan, and sunflowers. I hope this encourages you to build even a small garden this year. It may be a little work, but I guarantee you’ll never buy a vegetable from the grocery store that tastes better than the ones from your garden. Thanks for listening and be sure to check out our other videos for helpful tips on other home-related subjects.

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