Gardening in Colorado is a challenge. Techniques that result in great crops one year won't always work the next.

As the days grow warmer, it's tempting to begin planting flower beds.

But Susan Spencer, with Spencer's Lawn and Garden, suggests waiting a few days. Along the Front Range, the danger of frost doesn't usually pass until mid-May.

Vegetable gardening has become especially trendy in recent years and is something that can be started now.

'We've seen a dramatic increase in folks starting vegetable and/or organic gardening just in the past couple years, ' Spencer said. 'Parents enjoy doing it with their kids and making it a family project. '

Kids enjoy learning by participating and almost always love to play in the dirt, so vegetable gardens make sense in many ways. Experts agree that gardening teaches kids the satisfaction that comes from caring for something over time and observing the cycle of life firsthand. Gardening also can be used to teach environmental awareness.

Spencer noted that root crops, or hardy vegetables that grow in the ground such as broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, potatoes, cabbage and lettuce, are good for planting in spring.

The same holds true for tender vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and herbs once nighttime temperatures stop dipping below 40 degrees.