I live between Conifer and Evergreen at 7600 feet. I have lived here for more than 5 years with gardening challenges galore. Last year I built 2- 4 feet by 4 feet raised gardens. Quite frankly, even at that size I had the best garden I have had up here. I also grew some tomatoes indoor over the winter that produced the largest best fruit I have ever had gardening. So moving forward this year, I decided to start my tomatoes, squash and peppers along with several flowers in December/ January in 2017. I will also start a second crop in February. My hope is that they will survive to be larger plants in June. My belief and experience from last year is that this l will produce a better garden. I also intend on building another raised garden 8x3 feet.
I have started the process by planting seeds I saved from last year since they are all heirlooms. This will include Russian Black Crim tomatoes (this is the 3rd season for these seeds so they should adapted somewhat to our climate), Mortgage Makers, Nebraska Wedding, an unknown store bought cherry tomato and a black cherry tomato. These last tomatoes where saved from seeds of last year. I am also growing heirloom banana peppers, hot peppers, spaghetti squash and butternut squash indoors early in hopes to be able to transplant successfully outdoors in June. Again, these last items are seeds from last year. I realize that it is not a good idea to transplant a plant that is too large, but I had so much success last year I am going to try it again.
I am now in the process of buying or ordering heirloom seeds from reliable seed dealers. I want to add zucchini and yellow squash, Casper and a small purple squash, beets, turnips, rutabagas, carrots and spinach. I plan to plant the beets, carrots, turnips, rutabagas and spinach in late March to mid-April.