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Vegetable Gardening from A(rtichoke) to Z(ucchini)

By Debbie Moody, Colorado Master Gardener

The Hudson Gardens Vegetable Demonstration Garden is located on the grounds of the Hudson Gardens and Event Center, 6115 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, Colorado. This garden is a cooperative project between Hudson Gardens & Event Center, South Suburban Parks and Recreation and CSU Arapahoe County Master Gardeners.

Raised beds at Hudson Gardens. Photo: Kathi Thistlethwaite

The vegetable garden was started more than 20 years ago by a Colorado Master Gardener who was also a Hudson Gardens volunteer. It was moved to its present location in 2007 and expanded in 2011 to its present size of 23 raised beds. The garden is planned by Master Garden Team Leads: Donna Farley-Wade, Kathi Thistlethwaite and Debbie Moody. The garden is planted, maintained and harvested by the Team Leads and Master Gardener volunteers.

As with any garden, there are challenges: Deer, geese, rabbits, raccoons and squirrels think we have created a garden just for them! Floating row covers are utilized for all newly planted beds to protect the seedlings and plants. While the Cottonwood tree provides shade for Master Gardeners during those hot days of summer, it also limits the types of vegetables that can be grown in its vicinity. Fortunately, arugula, lettuces and spinach do well in the shady beds.

Did you know that artichokes can be grown in Colorado? It is a unique plant, fun to grow and the harvest numbers are good. We tend to let a few of them flower. It’s such a lovely splash of color later in the season.

Artichoke in bloom. Photo:

We participate in the Colorado State University “Grow and Give” program that addresses food insecurity in Colorado. Harvested produce is donated to Integrated Family Community Services in Englewood and distributed to their clientele.

Master Gardeners are at the garden every Wednesday from 8:30am – 10:30am May through September. Each week we have an informal “Meet the Vegetable Gardener” time to answer questions and talk about our work. We would love to see you at the garden this coming season!

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