The Silverthorne Pulse The Silverthorne Pulse

Community News from the Heart of Summit County

High-Altitude Gardening With Neils Lunceford

Published May 12, 2018

Neils Lunceford Silverthorne

It’s officially spring. Have you started planting? If not, don’t stress. We’ve got some insider tips from the experts at Neils Lunceford to help you out.

Since 1980, Neils Lunceford has served the Silverthorne community and helped it grow—in more ways than one. As a full-service landscape company offering landscape design, construction, maintenance, irrigation and retail products, the pros at Neils Lunceford beautify Summit, Eagle and Grand counties.

Three key players on the Neils Lunceford team include CEO Jeff Lunceford, Operations Manager Abe Hoffmann and Vice President Tim Glasco. Jeff was born and raised in Silverthorne, started working with Neils Lunceford in high school, and has worked in all facets of the business from field labor through operations and contract management. Abe has worked for Neils Lunceford in many capacities from field labor to operations manager, is part owner of the company and is an expert at delivering landscape projects efficiently and at the highest standard of quality. Tim is the longest tenured employee of Neils Lunceford. Thanks to his time landscaping in Summit County and pursuing continued education in the industry, he is the resident expert in all things plant and landscape.

With this team of pros at the helm, it’s no wonder Neils Lunceford has found success in Summit County and beyond. We sat down with Jeff to get a little perspective and a few gardening tips.


Can you describe your business and where you are located?

Neils Lunceford is a full-service landscape company. We offer landscape design, construction, maintenance, irrigation and retail products. We have three retail garden centers located in Silverthorne, Farmers Korner and Tabernash. We operate in Summit, Eagle and Grand counties and have been in business since 1980.


What are the top three things you love about running a business in Summit County, especially Silverthorne?

Having grown up in Silverthorne, I will always love it for being my hometown, but I also love seeing it grow and how our business has been able to grow with it. Being able to operate with properties on the Blue River and looking out on the Gore Range is certainly a perk of the job, but the community that we are so fortunate to work in is one of my favorite parts of my job. From clients that return to us each season to the incredible employees we have, being able to work and spend time with such great people makes me really enjoy my days.


Can you provide any spring planting tips?

It is important to fertilize in the spring and early summer. At this time of year, plants are drawing heavily on nutrients as they grow, and supplementing with fertilizer will help ensure that the plant has all that it needs to grow and be healthy. This is also a great time to treat plants systemically for insects as the plant will be quickly absorbing the insecticide, which will help treat existing insects and prevent future insect damage.


What are the challenges of creating beautiful landscaping at high altitude?

Our extended winters create many difficulties, and our growing seasons are very limited. To make things even more difficult, the lack of humidity and cold winds make for a challenging growing environment. In our 38 years of landscaping at altitude, we have refined our plant selection to know what works well and what does not.


What is the most important thing to remember when planting/gardening at high altitude?

Proper soil preparation and watering are critical to the success of any planting. The Rocky Mountains are aptly named, and the vast majority of planting locations in the mountains are in need of additional organic material to help establish a new plant. As a general rule of thumb, a hole for a new plant should be twice the size of the root ball of the plant and should be backfilled with a 50/50 blend of the native soil and an amended soil mix. Also, ensuring that the new plant gets adequate supplementary water immediately after planting and over the course of the next 3-5 growing seasons will allow the new plant to establish in its new growing environment.     


Are there any plants that do better than others in Silverthorne?

Quite a lot really. Silverthorne is a very interesting growing environment as it is slightly lower than surrounding towns and depending on location, there are more plant options available than in Breckenridge for instance. Our nursery staff is very helpful in finding the right plant for the right place (sunny, shady, wet, dry, high elevation, etc.).


What’s your favorite way to spend the day in Silverthorne?

That is simple: fly fishing on the Blue with my father. I grew up playing in the Blue River, and my dad has been taking me fishing as long as I can remember. Although I don’t find enough time to do this, it is easy to say that it’s my favorite way to spend a day.


Can you give visitors a must-do tip for their visit?

Hike in the Gore Range. The Gore Range Trail, Buffalo, Willow Falls, Salmon and Willow lakes—it is absolutely beautiful throughout the Gore Range and an incredible place to hike around.For more information on Neils Lunceford’s incredible business, visit

Neils Lunceford Silverthorne