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The San Miguel Basin Extension office provides assistance and programs for citizens in five main areas: 4-H/Youth Development, Ag/Local Food, Gardening, Natural Resources and Home, Family & Health.

Horticulture-Gardening   arrow

The Colorado Master Gardener Class Enrollment LINK is LIVE NOW!!
And will close on October 16th. So, don’t delay!


We are taking applications for the 2022/2023 Colorado Master Gardener Program (local volunteer track). Although all core classes are online and you can work on them each week at the time best for you, we will have a few locally-focused and hands-on learning labs (evenings) to supplement the online classes!

  • The course runs from January – April 2023. The cost of the program is $200. There are scholarships for locals and discounts for county and CSU staff of a 50% discount.
  • If for some reason you can’t register by October 16th, please call us directly at 970-327-4393 or email maryw@sanmiguelcountyco.gov or Yvette.Henson@colostate.edu
  • Colorado Master Gardeners do their volunteer service with us locally in the San Miguel Basin Extension Office! We love working with our Master Gardeners to put on local programs, work together in our local research gardens, coordinate the SMB Regional seed library, help clients solve their plant problems, etc.
  • Registration for the non-volunteer track is $530 and doesn’t open until November.

Heritage Harvest Festival Produce Show-Oct 8th

We are excited to once again host a Produce Show at the Heritage Harvest Festival this fall!
Bring Produce Saturday, October 8th, 10-Noon Nucla Town Park, 165 W. 10th Ave. Bring your beautiful local produce & flowers to the CSU Extension Table to be in the show! Heritage Harvest Festival Guidelines on this website: Contact Yvette.henson@colostate.edu or call 970-708-4786. Click here for Produce Guidelines.

Here are some Resources to help you be Successful
Gardening in our Area!

Frost-Free Growing Seasons in San Miguel Basin and Surrounding Communities & Hardiness of Vegetables and Flowers, click here….
Seed starting Calculator for our Area-You enter your last average Spring Frost into the Date. Click here….

Because you’ll have a bountiful harvest, check out the resources for donating your produce too.  Many food banks accept donations of fresh produce, and garden-grown vegetables are typically popular.  Consider including recipes with your donation.

The Colorado Vegetable Guide. This 67-page booklet contains a growing summary for a wide range of crops.  Available free online. 

Grow & Give Colorado.  This “Modern Victory Garden Project” webpage is full of CSU vegetable gardening videos, fact sheets, and recorded lectures.  

Drought Monitor

Vegetable Gardening in the Mountains – 7.248   

by Irene Shonle (12/20)

Quick Facts…

  • If using a well, check your permit for possible outdoor water restrictions.
  • Cool-season vegetables are the most successful.
  • Protect your vegetables from animal intrusion with hardware cloth under beds and use
    floating row covers.
root crops

Growing vegetables in Colorado presents challenges, but growing vegetables in the mountains is harder still. This is due to the much shorter growing season, cool nights, wind, critters, and possible watering restrictions. For the purposes of this factsheet, ‘high elevation’ or ‘mountains’ means anything over 7,500 feet in elevation in Colorado.

The first factor to consider is the short growing season. For every 1000 feet gain in elevation, the temperature drops by an average of 3.5° F. This means that the temperatures will be below freezing later in the spring and earlier in the fall. As an example, the Extension office in Gilpin County (9,300’) has a last average frost date of June 10 and the average first frost is September 15, but in many other places, there can be fewer than 90frost-free days in the mountains. Gardeners at the lower end of the elevation range will have a longer growing season and be able to grow a wider variety of vegetables.

An exception to this general rule is that valleys are often cooler than surrounding hillsides, due to the sinking of cool air at night. Even though the elevation may be lower, valleys may actually have cooler growing conditions than surrounding hillsides. Click here for more….