Spring is here at last and pansies are back in our greenhouse in bunches! Their colorful, scrunchy little faces are smiling and longing for you to take them home with you. Because they are hardy in cool weather, they are a great way to add color to your gardens and patio containers early in the spring season. Find our coupon in the April Valpak for a buy one get one free pack of pansies.
The columbine flower is an iconic symbol of our Colorado landscape and one of the first and favorite perennial arrivals in gardens each spring. They are easy to grow and will prolifically self-seed for continued growth in your garden. We have dozens of varieties of columbines in many beautiful colors including the iconic Rocky Mountain Blue Columbine, the state flower of Colorado.
Every great plant deserves a good place to rest its roots. At Fort Collins Nursery you’ll find thousands of beautiful decorative pots and planters for all of your potting needs. Our biggest shipment of the year was just recently checked in so you’ll find the largest and best selection of pots that we’ll have all year.
We have many veggie starts in stock and ready for your garden. Now is a perfect time to plant your cold season crops like lettuce, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, chard and kale. You will also find warm season starts like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant in our greenhouse. Remember the average last frost date in Northern Colorado is May 15th and it can be much later in Southern Wyoming so keep your warm season veggies protected by keeping them indoors or using season extenders like Wall of Water. Check back throughout the month of April for new veggie arrivals!
Potatoes, Onions & Garlic
For those of you who are anxious to start planting early this spring, we have a great selection of Potatoes, Onions & Garlic in stock with more arriving early this March. A good rule of thumb is you can plant potatoes and onions (all available in our Garden Shop) directly in the garden after St. Patrick’s Day but with our unpredictable Colorado weather it is important to keep an eye on them. Using mulch, Season Extenders and covering with row covers will also help protect veggies from low temperatures. Garlic bulbs can be planted in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked. Stop by now to find the best selection while available and store your potatoes, onions and garlic in a cool, dry environment until it’s time to plant.
Potato plants do not flower to produce seed so to produce a potato plant you will need seed potatoes, now available at Fort Collins Nursery. Seed potatoes can be planted whole, or cut into pieces with at least one eye per piece. Those with more eyes will grow to produce a larger quantity of potatoes that are smaller in size while those with fewer eyes will produce fewer potatoes that are larger in size. For planting, choose a sunny spot with well-draining, loose soil, so that the roots and tubers can develop. For a fun, alternative planting method try planting potatoes in bloem BAGZ.
Here are some delicious varieties to consider:
- Cal White Potatoes: A long white-fleshed potato with brilliant white skin. Produces heavy yields of large potatoes.
- Dark Red Norland Potato: This Heirloom has almost burgundy skin and white flesh. Keeps well, produces high yields and is great for potato salad.
- Viking Purple: This Heirloom has large, smooth dark purple skin and pure white flesh that make it great for mashing. A high-yielding potato developed at North Dakota State University.
Onion sets and plants are now in stock and are the fastest, easiest way to grow full-size onions in a single season. For planting, choose a very sunny location with 8 hours or more of direct sun per day with fertile soil that drains well. You’ll cry tears of joy after tasting one of these savory varieties:
- Copra Onion: This is a very sweet storage onion that can be stored for up to a year. Produces a beautiful, hard 3” onion that cooks love.
- Red Candy Apple Onion: Features a large, flattened red globe and is the type of red you’ll find in an Italian restaurant or salad bar. Limited storage capacity with this one.
- Highlander Onion: Sweet, early maturing bulbs grow up to 4”. It is easy to cure and stores well for up to 5 months.
Garlic grows from individual cloves broken off from the whole bulb. It is easy to grow and requires very little space in the garden. Garlic should be planted in a fertile, well-drained soil, avoiding areas where water can collect around the roots. The cloves should be planted 1-2 inches into the ground with the pointed end up. Give your meals some bite with one of these wonderful varieties:
- Inchelium Red Garlic: Features savory aroma and rich taste with a medium level of spiciness, even when eaten raw.
- Susanville Garlic: Features white with occasional pink coloring and a long shelf life. Cloves are excellent for roasting and spreading and great for braiding.
Spring-planted bulbs produce dramatic garden color with minimal effort and are a great addition to your summer garden. Not to be confused with “Fall Bulbs” which are planted in fall but flower in spring, “Spring Bulbs” are also known as “Summer Flowering Bulbs.” Spring planted bulbs are tender and will not survive cold ground temperatures and should generally be planted around the last frost date or when you plant your vegetable garden. Because they are not cold hardy, spring bulbs should either be dug up, stored and then replanted every year or grown as annuals. To get a quick start on growing your summer bulbs, pot them indoors 1-2 months before planting time and transplant them outside and into your garden. Fort Collins Nursery currently has all of these great varieties in stock:
Dahlia, Canna, Elephant Ear, Amaryllis, Gladiolus, Lily and more.
Weeks Roses is one of the largest commercial rose growers in the United States, offering a unique, broad selection of popular & unusual roses since 1938. For each rose variety, they select the propagation method that ensures maximum plant performance, hardiness and blooming in your garden. Fort Collins Nursery carries a wide selection of Weeks’ high-grade, bare root, potted roses as an early season option for hybrid tea and crafted roses.
For those of us who didn’t quite get around to starting our garden seeds over the winter months, help is on the way. Our first shipment of cool season veggie starts have arrived and are ready for you to take home. Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are currently in stock with more arrivals expected through the month.
Stop in to check out all of our greenhouse plants and let us know if there is something specific you are looking for. Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have about spring planting.
Of course, it’s not too late to start seeds for spring and summer crops if you’re looking for more obscure varieties. We have hundreds of special seed varieties to choose from in our Garden Shop.
Looking to support a great cause by simply purchasing your seeds? Check out the extensive catalog from Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit (501(c)(3) status) organization dedicated to saving and sharing seeds. The mission of SSE is to preserve the world’s diverse but endangered garden heritage for future generations by building a network of people committed to collecting, conserving, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants, and educating people about the value of genetic and cultural diversity. Over 13,000 members share homegrown seeds with one another through their seed exchange program. Seed Savers have signed the Safe Seed Pledge, vowing never to knowingly purchase or sell GMO varieties.
Fort Collins Nursery has have nearly 300 variety of Seed Savers Exchange seeds in our Garden Shop and we are happy to special order any Seed Savers seeds that we do not already have in stock (and save you the cost of shipping). Here’s how:
Get an early start on your garden by planting seeds this winter. Seeds are less expensive than starter plants and come in hundreds of varieties not typically available as starts. Perhaps more importantly, growing from seed gives a sense of accomplishment and something to do over these long winter months!
Fort Collins Nursery has a huge selection of flower and vegetable seeds arriving throughout the month of January. You’ll find all your favorite varieties from Renee’s Garden, Botanical Interests, and Seed Savers Exchange in stock all winter long. We will also be adding many varieties from Territorial Seed Company later this month so be sure to check back.
We also have all the seed starting supplies you need to get your seeds ready for spring including seed trays, heating mats, mini greenhouses, grow lights and potting and planting mix.