Montana State University

New book focuses on growing vegetables in Rockies

January 25, 2010 -- MSU News Service

Bob Gough and Cheryl Moore-Gough have published a new book on growing vegetables in the Rockies. (Photo courtesy of Bob Gough and Cheryl Moore-Gough)   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- Growing vegetables in the Rockies is challenging for many reasons, but Montana horticulturists Bob Gough and Cheryl Moore-Gough have written a new book that explains how to do it.

The "Guide to Rocky Mountain Vegetable Gardening" is the couple's fifth book in five years, the latest edition in the Cool Springs Press vegetable gardening series and the only vegetable guide designed specifically for the tough zones of the Rocky Mountain states, said Gough, a professor of horticulture and associate dean for academic programs in the College of Agriculture at Montana State University.

The 320-page book advises beginning to intermediate gardeners how to plant and harvest more than 40 types of vegetables in the region that includes Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. Gardeners may already know that rhubarb and asparagus grow well in many areas of the Rocky Mountain region, but some areas can also grow watermelon and okra, Gough said.

"For years, folks asked us to write a book specifically on vegetable gardening in the Rockies," Gough said. "The general gardening books available do not address our problems in this region, and now, with more folks gardening here and more folks concerned about food quality and food costs, there is greater need for such a book."

The book starts with instructions on how to develop a deep, well-balanced, fertile soil. It tackles everything from starting seeds to dealing with pests. It advises gardeners how to plan their gardens to fit the available space and how to start gardens from seed. Charts explain when to plant and when to harvest cool and warm season vegetables. The book explains how to extend the growing season with hotbeds, poly-tunnels, coldframes, cloches and remay coverings.

The book also gives indepth explanations of produce storage, crop rotation and the extremely difficult task (in the Rockies) of composting, Gough said. It gives non-biased recommendations for organic and traditional gardeners. It provides practical solutions to regional challenges that include short growing seasons, intense sunlight, drought, high wind, hail and soils that range from saline to alkaline.

"Overall, the highly variable conditions of the region make it most challenging," Gough said.

The book is due to be released Feb. 1, but stores are ordering it now, Gough said. It is available at local book stores, and

Gough is known throughout Montana as "Dr. Bob." He has written 17 gardening books and more than 500 Extension publications. Moore-Gough is the retired Montana Master Gardener instructor and coordinator and state horticulturist with MSU Extension. She has co-authored four gardening books and co-hosts the Northern Garden Tips radio show with Gough. She is a frequent contributor to newspapers and gardening magazines. She is currently an assistant adjunct professor of vegetable production at MSU.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or