Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List.

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FAQ’s about Grow & Give   arrow

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Who can register for this program?

We’re encouraging individuals and community gardens to Register Your Garden for the project. This just let’s us know you’re on-board to Grow & Give. You may have a container garden on your patio or a multi-acre farm property or a small plot in an urban community garden – the site and specifics don’t matter. Just your intention to grow and give.

Join us!

How much produce do I have to donate?

There is no minimum donation requirement. We’re simply hoping you’ll try to grow extra and donate what you can locally. You can report even the smallest donations through our Grow & Give Reporting Form.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

You can contact your local CSU Extension county office with specific growing and giving questions. You can also email our project team at growandgive@colostate.edu.

GROWING QUESTIONS

I have never grown food before, where should I start?

Awesome! CSU Extension has been helping Coloradans grow for 150 years so we are here to help. Check out the General Gardening Info page on this website for a wide range of resources specific to growing in Colorado. You will also find crop specific information under the Veggies A-Z and the Fruit Crops pages.

Another good resource to help you start growing food for the Grow & Give program is this informational sheet on Great Produce for Giving.

How should I water my garden?

Watering a garden in Colorado comes with some challenges. For more information, see the Water, Fertilizer & Mulch section on our General Gardening Info page.

When do I harvest my veggies?

Generally speaking, it’s best to NOT harvest vegetables during the heat of the day, but instead try to harvest in the morning or evening hours. Harvest into a bucket with water for crops that may be prone to wilting, such as basil. Read your seed packet or the seed label for information on how to tell if your plant is ripe. For more information about harvesting your produce, see the Harvesting Produce section on our General Gardening Info page.

What is the last frost date for my area?

Check out the Climate Summaries section on our General Gardening Info page to find stats for your local area on precipitation, frost dates and other weather/climate related information. Climate summaries are offered for various locations throughout Colorado, choose the one that best fits your location.

When should I start fall plantings?

There are a variety of cool season crops that you can grow for a fall harvest. You want to count back from the first frost date (in the fall) to the estimated time to maturity listed on your plant seed package. For more information about planting a fall garden, see the following resource on Growing Cool Season Vegetables from Planttalk. Also, enjoy this video on Planting a Fall Vegetable Garden.

How do I protect my plants from frost?

In Colorado, season extension techniques and structures can very beneficial in helping you to extend the life of your vegetable garden in both the spring and fall. For more information, see our Frost Protection & Season Extension section on our General Gardening Info page.

How do I protect my plants from hail?

Hail can be a common occurrence in Colorado and can be devastating to a garden. If you are able, provide a protective cover such as a row cover, or garden shade to help protect the plants. Temporary containers such as buckets can work as well, but must be removed promptly if the sun comes out. Whether or not your plants will recover after a hailstorm will depend on the severity of the damage to the plants, but they will likely be set back significantly. For more information about how to deal with hail and other weather related issues, see the Environmental Hurdles section on our General Gardening Info page.

How do I protect my plants from wind?

Wind can be problematic for many of our plants. Using other stronger plants or structures as a windbreak can be effective to help protect the garden from wind. For more information, see the Environmental Hurdles section on our General Gardening Info page or contact your local county’s CSU Extension Office for additional help.

How do I fertilize?

For more information, see the Water, Fertilizer & Mulch section on our General Gardening Info page.

Weeds are taking over, what do I do?

Identify your weeds first sot that you know what type of weed your are trying to manage. In addition, it’s easier to pull weeds before they get big, so monitor your garden frequently. Mulch, either plastic or organic (wood mulch, grass clippings etc.) can also help to reduce the prevalence of weeds and make those that come up easier to remove.

Here are some resources you may find useful when trying to identify and deal with weeds in a vegetable garden.

GIVING QUESTIONS

Is my produce good enough to donate? Is the quality good?

Only donate produce you would consume. Ensure your produce is safe for consumption by reviewing Keeping Your Produce Safe for Donation.

Where can I donate in my local community?

We are working hard with people across the state to identify locations where you can donate your homegrown produce. Check out our Interactive Donation Location Map as a good starting place! More general information about how to donate produce can be found on our Giving Locally page.

What if there aren't donation sites in my area?

If you don’t see locations on this map, you may need to do some searching on your own to find a local organization or neighbor in need. You could start by contacting your local CSU Extension office to see if they know of any places not listed on our Grow & Give site. Second, you can do your own research and identify new emergency food locations accepting homegrown produce. We have this one-page info sheet to help you with this task: Resources to Connect with a Local Emergency Food Provider. Finally, if you do find new locations, please email us at growandgive@colostate.edu so we can add those new sites you have identified to our statewide map.

Thank you for helping to connect others with donation sites!

How do I keep my produce safe for donating?

There are several things you can do to ensure your homegrown produce is safe for donating. This one-page info sheet is a good place to start: Keeping Your Produce Safe for Donation.

Where can I find labels for my produce?

We’re encouraging all Grow & Give gardeners to label their produce with our provided labels so the project will be recognized statewide for our collective donations and impact. Download labels here: Grow & Give Labels.

Where do I report my donation?

We’ve developed a quick online reporting survey for you to enter in the type and amount of produce you donated, and to where. You can find that form here: Report Your Donation

When you report, you’re adding your donation to a growing list of statewide donations. Together, we can share the important value local food brings to Colorado. We are simply neighbors helping neighbors.

Our collective efforts will strengthen the program and demonstrate that individual actions and commitment can impact communities positively.

Thanks for growing and giving with CSU!