The Denver growing season is quite long compared to some states, but it’s not exactly warm year round. That being said, spring gardening tasks usually start early in April. Fall gardening sometimes lasts well into October. Warm weather can even extend into November in drought years. So, why use a greenhouse in Denver? Do you even need one?
What gardener doesn’t like to get an early start? Yes, Denver’s growing season is more than ample. Why not make it even longer? Using a heated greenhouse in March can give cold tolerant plants an even earlier start. Why heated? Spring-like March weather in Denver can be deceiving. Conditions can change rapidly. Historically, some of Denver’s most severe winter weather hits in March.
You can start planting your cold tolerant seeds in a heated greenhouse in March. Some Denver gardeners prefer to sow these right into the garden in late April or early May. However, using a heated greenhouse gives them a bit of a jump start and lets the seedlings get used to the chill in the air as they grow.
As spring grows closer, start seeds in stages. Each week, start a different batch, ending with plants that prefer hot weather. These should be started by the beginning of April for optimum growth.
Cold tolerant starter plants should be moved to the garden in the middle of May, leaving space in the greenhouse. Use the empty shelves to start a new batch of all seeds at this time. This allows for error with the first batch and/or a second planting for season long harvesting.
During early planting season, the Denver greenhouse also protects purchased heat loving plants, such as tomatoes.
No shed? A greenhouse can double as a close, handy storage space for tools and pots.
Have you ever thought of turning your fenced garden into an enclosed space? An enclosed, fenced in pole garden with high, chicken-wired walls and roof can easily be turned into a simple greenhouse after the fall harvest. Simply staple plastic to the supporting beams over the chicken wire to hold in the heat. By adding a potable heater, you’ll have an instant, rudimentary greenhouse for spring too.
Some plants and bulbs can be dug, then relocated or re-used the following year. Simply store them in the greenhouse until you are ready to plant in the spring. Be sure to use that heater for cold sensitive plants.
Tomatoes are actually perennial plants in warmer climates. They won’t last forever, but they are good for more than one season. Perhaps that would be a fun experimental use for a Denver greenhouse.
To sum things up, while you don’t exactly need a greenhouse in Denver, you can certainly put it to good use. You can extend your growing season, use it for storage and more. Why not give it a try? You can start with something simple, like the pole garden greenhouse. If it serves you well, a more permanent greenhouse might be a worthwhile investment.