Frequently Asked Questions
We're here to help you with any
questions you have about gardening.
What is the difference between an annual and a
perennial? Annuals are planted
each year. They tend to flower for a longer period, often the entire
growing season. Perennials, once established will continue to produce new
top growth and flowers each year although usually for a short period each
year. Perennials often die back to the ground, but the roots remain alive
and send up new shoots each year. Biennials, which are sold with the
perennials take two years to complete their life cycle. During the first
season, they usually produce only vegetative growth. The second year they
flower and then die. Some biennials will continue to grow on as a
short-lived perennial. Some plants that we sell as annuals are actually
perennials or biennials that flower well the first season and then die because they can't
survive our climate.
What zone do I live in? The Denver Metro area and the surrounding plains are considered zone 5. As you move out above Golden, the zone changes to zone 4. Higher in the mountains, the zone drops to 3 and lower. As a general rule you can grow any plant with a zone number equal or lower than your zone. Denver is becoming a milder microclimate created from heated buildings, trees, and concrete. Many zone 6 plants are being grown successfully in Denver in semi-protected areas. A newer map divides each zone into an a and a b region within the zone.
What does it mean to harden a plant off? It means to gradually expose a plant to the elements outdoors. Plants coming from a greenhouse need to be accustomed to drier air, brighter sunshine, warmer temperatures, and wind. If they are set out suddenly, the change can damage them permanently. We recommend that you set them in a protected area for a few days where they will get some exposure to the elements. Then, when they have been toughened somewhat you can plant them into a fully exposed site.
When is it safe to plant flowers outdoors? There is not one date. Plants vary in their ability to withstand cold temperatures. Check out our frost hardiness chart to find when it is safe to plant each type of flower.
Is fall a good time for planting? One great advantage to late summer or fall planting is that soil is usually easier to amend and prepare than in our wetter spring weather. Planting before October 15 will in most cases allow plant establishment before winter.
What does the term Xeriscape mean? Xeri = dry. Scape = vista. It is a concept of incorporating plant material in the landscape that will be more water efficient using seven designing and planting fundamentals. Read more about Water Wise Gardening.