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The CSU Extension in Gilpin County helps mountain residents improve their quality of life by offering a website, classes and programs that provide unbiased, research-based information on forestry, wildfire, wildlife, mountain gardening, noxious weeds and many other issues. Through our 4-H programs, we help youth develop life skills through leadership opportunities.

Mountain Horticulture   arrow

Example of Colorado Landscape


Gardening in the mountains is challenging at best, but it is still possible to grow wonderful flowers, trees, shrubs, and vegetables.

Gilpin County has an active group of Colorado Master Gardeners who live and garden at elevations of 7500′ or higher. This group has put together the following informative set of pages:

Test your soil to know what you might need to change to optimize growing conditions.

A low tunnel hoop bender is available for the public to use. Please contact the Gilpin Extension Office if you’d like to borrow it. The hoop bender forms conduit pipe into 3′ wide x 4′ tall hoops to help create a low tunnel for season extension. You are welcome to use the bender at your convenience. Please read the Hoop Bender instructions and watch the bending low tunnels video before using.

To learn more about becoming a Colorado Mountain Master Gardener, visit the page.

Plant Talk website provides reliable, timely information on more than 500 horticultural topics.

Demonstration Gardens

Our demonstration gardens, located in front of the Gilpin Extension Office/Exhibit Barn, feature several gardens including:

  • The High and Dry Garden– a research and demonstration garden made possible by a grant from the Colorado Home and Garden Show featuring plants that are native and do not need to be watered (other than being watered-in when planted).
  • Critter Resistant Garden- shows plants that are aromatic or bitter and, therefore, less attractive to ground squirrels, rabbits, deer and pocket gophers.
  • The Bird and Butterfly Garden- has plants specially for birds and butterflies and is not watered (except for being watered-in when planted).
  • The Perennial Edible Garden- has edible plants that will grow in the mountains with almost no water.

Come visit the Gardens at your convenience to gain inspiration and knowledge for your own mountain garden.

Mountain Gardeners Blog

Flower garden in mountains

Curious to learn directly from Master Gardeners here in Colorado?  Visit the Colorado Mountain Gardeners blog for information and articles about everything garden related, including germinating, growing, harvesting, information about native and non-native species for your garden and landscape, climate effects, watering, pests, and more.

Native Plant Master Program

Click for more information on this fun but intense Native Plant Master field class.

Community Garden

Do you know about our community garden?  We provide the space (in-ground 50sf, or raised 30sf), water and soil amendments, located at the Gilpin County Fairgrounds, near the Recreation Center.

We have sold all our plots in our 2023 garden! If you are interested in joining the garden for 2024, please email and we will add you to our waitlist for next year. 2023 Community Garden Application and Policies

No public compost is accepted. All soil amendments must be approved.

Fruits & Vegetables

Growing fruits and vegetables in the mountains be very successful… however, there are some guidelines and tips you will need to consider. Click here to learn more about growing fruits and vegetables in the mountains.

Noxious Weeds

Scentless chamomile (Matricaria perforata)

Scentless chamomile

Even in the midst of paradise, we have to contend with noxious weeds. Whether beautiful or ugly, these bullies are rapidly taking over and destroying our mountain ecosystems. Click to learn more about the weeds we need to worry about in the mountains.

Extension Office is Open Under Strict Guidelines

Visits are by appointment only.