For the high-altitude gardener |

For the high-altitude gardener

DILLON – Even a green thumb can turn brown when gardening for the first time at Summit County’s high elevation – but Robin McEachern will help prevent that.

A nursery manager at Neils Lunceford Nursery in Silverthorne, McEachern knows more than a thing or two about gardening at high altitudes.

On Wednesday, she will share the gardening basics during a workshop for women, co-hosted by the Summit County Women’s Center and Borders Books in Dillon.

There are several steps to growing a successful garden in Summit County, and it begins with a nutrient-rich soil, McEachern said. Native soil is typically rocky – providing either too little or too much drainage and insufficient nutrients for many plants. Gardeners can increase their chances for a healthy garden by adding compost or topsoil to their soil.

It also helps to know which plants can flourish in this mountain environment and which will require extra attention and care, she said. McEachern will provide a list of plants better apt to survive well here, including poppies, flax, daisies,

penstemon and columbine.

Of the fertilizers available, its best to use those that are water-soluble, McEachern said.

She will cover the advantages of common commercial fertilizers such as Miracle-Gro and organic options like fish emulsion.

In anticipation of another summer when water might be sparse and towns are likely to impose mandatory water restrictions, McEachern also will share watering tips and the fundamentals of xeriscaping – the use of drought-tolerant plants and water conservation methods in a garden.

Though Wednesday’s workshop is geared toward the beginning gardener or one new to gardening at such high altitudes, McEachern said more experienced gardeners also will have the opportunity to learn some new ideas and answer specific questions during the question-and-answer period.

Neils Lunceford is sponsoring the workshop.

Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or

Free Women’s Workshops

This week:

– What: High-altitude gardening

– When: 7-8 p.m. Wednesday


– What: Relax! Stress relaxation

– When: 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 14

– What: Sports Injury Prevention

– When: 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 21

– All workshops are held at Borders Books Cafe in Dillon

Borders Books provides refreshments for workshop attendees and storytelling and activities for their young children. For more information, contact Terri Tobey at (970) 389-1502

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User