Spring is just around the corner, which means it is time to start thinking about your summer gardening plans. Gardening in our region can be a rewarding challenge due to our shorter growing season, as well as late-season frosts and snowstorms that make it risky to plant too early. Pikes Peak Library District has excellent resources to help you get started! Keep an eye on our events calendar for fun programs about gardening as well.

Depending on where you are and what you’re growing, you may already be starting some of your seeds indoors this month, so they are ready to plant when the seasons change. If you are new to gardening in our region, or want to level up your skills, use your library card to check out gardening books and magazines on flower and vegetable gardening, landscaping, container gardening, xeriscaping, gardening with children, gardening in Colorado, and other useful topics. Even if you’re not looking for how-to information, you will discover books on the philosophy of gardening, gardening memoirs, and histories of famous gardens in our collection.

Whether you plan to start seeds this month or next, there are other things you can do now to start getting ready. Determine if you have the right number of pots for anything you plan to grow in containers. You can also start collecting the containers you will use for your starters. Use pots you own or hold onto sturdy single-use containers. Yogurt and cottage cheese tubs work great.

If you haven’t yet, start thinking about the types of plants you want to grow this year. Will you grow your own lettuce, spinach, and tomatoes for DIY salads? Zucchini so you can bake great zucchini bread? Flowers to brighten your yard? As you plan, get inspired by the Seed Library at High Prairie and Manitou Springs libraries. The seed libraries allow the Library to support a thriving community of gardeners of all levels by offering a variety of seeds, some of which came from local gardens the prior year. You can take home a few seed packets per month to get your garden started, and feel free to bring unused seeds or seeds you harvest back to share with the community.

The Library is also starting to think ahead to gardening season, because we have gardens at three of our locations. The Carnegie Garden, between Penrose Library and the Knights of Columbus Hall, is home to a demonstration garden and has a lawn that is perfect for public functions and Library events like the Jean Ciavonne Poetry Contest Award Ceremony next month. Penrose Library also has a vegetable garden and pollinator garden, and we donate produce grown there to local nonprofit organizations. At High Prairie Library, we grow produce that we donate to the Fresh Start Center. The Elmohr Iris Society maintains a garden at East Library that is the only public, high-altitude trial garden in the world.

Carla Bamesberger is the Public Relations and Marketing Manager for Pikes Peak Library District. Besides reading and touting all that the District offers, this Coloradoan enjoys spending time with her husband and pets, biking, crafting, and gaming. She can be reached at cbamesberger@ppld.org or by calling (719) 531-6333, x6259.

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