Gardening at 7,200′

Laramie, Wyoming receives an average of 11″ of precipitation per year. Our growing season is usually no longer than 90 days. The soil ranges from rocky to clay; not exactly the black loam of the Midwest! Click here for the  USDA Hardiness Zone Map – Laramie is in zone 4b, though local gardeners believe Laramie should be zone 4a or 3.

Despite all of these challenges and more, gardening in Laramie is not only POSSIBLE, it’s FUN! And if you can do it here, you can do it anywhere! Below are tips for growing vegetables, fruits, flowers and trees in this high plains environment.

Tips for Gardening in Laramie:

  1. Laramie Garden Club's demostration bed for xeriscaped gardeningBe selective about which plants you choose to grow in your garden. Water-wise, cold-tolerant and short-season are three musts on the plant criteria check-off list! The Demo Gardens in LaBonte Park are great examples of a Laramie-based xeriscaped garden (meaning plants meet those three criteria). Barnyards and Backyards has great resources for Laramie-appropriate gardening!
  2. Help out your soil. Soil in Laramie can range from rocky to sandy to clayey, all within a 5 mile radius! So depending on where you’re gardening, you’re most likely going to need compost, and lots of it. Start a compost pile in your yard by following these tips, or collect compost from ACRES or your neighbor.
  3. Use season extenders. Whether you use a cold frame, hoop house, greenhouse, Walls o’ Water, milk jugs, or any other method you can find, the season is simply not long enough to grow many fruits and vegetables. Season extenders help dramatically and can make the difference between a skimpy vegetable garden and a harvest.

7 thoughts on “Gardening at 7,200′

    • Hello, Virginia and Charly. Yes, there are fruit trees that grow in Laramie, but they might not successfully produce fruit every year depending on the late-spring frosts that we can get. There are apple varieties, plums, and sour cherries (e.g., Bali) that do well here. Look for trees that are hardy to zone 3 (maybe zone 4 if you’re feeling lucky), flower late, and bear fruit early. There are also some crabapples that are larger and tastier (such as Dolgo) and of course Nanking cherries. On the shrubbier side of things, serviceberries and currants do great here as well. Your success will also depend on what part of town you live in and what critters might be in your area. Good luck! Amy F.

    • Hello, Fred. I don’t have any pictures of flowering cherry trees in Laramie. Other LGC members might, but I don’t think there are any on this site. They will be flowering soon, though, if they haven’t started already. My sand cherry is flowering now. Amy F.

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