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Gardening in CO


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#1 BuxomBrewster

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 11:22 AM

A customer lives at 5400 ft in CO and wants to know if he can grow potatoes.  I'm thinking yes, but am I right?


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#2 the_stain

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 11:30 AM

Yeah, he should be fine.
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#3 maddog

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 11:38 AM

They are the major cash crop of the San Luis Valley. That and meth, I guess.

 

Almost certainly fine unless the customer is in one of the high deserts on the Western Slope.


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#4 BuxomBrewster

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 03:44 PM

Yeah, he’s in the high desert on the western slope.
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#5 the_stain

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 03:54 PM

5400 feet is probably still fine. I might start to worry over 7000
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#6 AspenLeif

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 04:21 PM

5400 feet is probably still fine. I might start to worry over 7000

There is a potato farm I pass coming into Aspen at about 7500 ft.  I obviously have no idea of yield, but there is a farm here at that elevation.  


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#7 porter

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 04:31 PM

The San Luis Valley averages around 7500 feet and is a local low point, so gets cold at night, even in the summer. Most of the valley floor is covered in potato farms. There may be other limiting factors for this person, but elevation would not be one of them.

Looked it up, the highest average low temp (in July) is 47 degrees in Alamosa.

Edited by porter, 13 January 2020 - 04:35 PM.

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#8 BuxomBrewster

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 05:15 PM

Sounds good. Thanks for the input. We can't always answer the questions we get asked. It is really helpful to have a bunch of friends around the US that have experience gardening.
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#9 Vagus

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 05:27 PM

They are the major cash crop of the San Luis Valley. That and meth, I guess.

Almost certainly fine unless the customer is in one of the high deserts on the Western Slope.


Tell me how to grow meth
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#10 maddog

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 06:16 PM

The elevation isn't a problem, but soil might be. On the western slope soil tends to have a lot more clay which hold on to the irrigation water that's required. There's also a surprisingly high nematode load given how dry and nutrient starved the ecosystem is. This leads to reduced growth and increased disease. It's why there aren't very many potato farms out this way. The soil in the San Luis valley has much more loam and far fewer problems, even though there are as many rocks as potatoes in that soil.

 

For a gardener, it's likely possible to amend the soil to make things work. It might take more work than you'd expect, though, depending on location.


There is a potato farm I pass coming into Aspen at about 7500 ft.  I obviously have no idea of yield, but there is a farm here at that elevation.  

 

How much does a locally grown Aspen potato cost? $18? ;)


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#11 maddog

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 09:59 AM

Tell me how to grow meth

 

First, plant lots of Mormon Tea. Unlike potatoes, that stuff grows well here. 


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#12 AspenLeif

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:19 AM

 


 

How much does a locally grown Aspen potato cost? $18? ;)

Other than it being a tax write off, I have no idea.  People either put 2 cows on the land or plant a field...to get into the agricultural classification for tax purposes.  


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