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Spring Gardens In Salt Lake City

07-Feb-2019 | by Scott Bennett

You may be looking out your window right now amazed to see about a foot of fresh snow in your yard from the latest storm to hit northern Utah and the Wasatch Front. It is a winter wonderland out there. Many of us have spent many hours shoveling snow during the last 24 hours. Spring seems so far away, but really it is coming!

Now is a great time to plan your spring garden, especially because you may want to start some of your plants indoors as early as March. That’s only a few weeks away. Utah has a fairly short growing season—about 163 days. May 15-October 25 are considered Utah’s frost-free days. To take advantage of the days that we have, some veggies do well to start indoors and then to be transplanted outside later. Other plants can be started outside, even before frost is completed gone. Yet others can’t be planted outside until May 15. Let’s talk about what to plant, where, and when. Below is a sampling of veggies that are often successfully grown in Utah’s climate. This isn’t a complete list.

Spring Garden Veggies
Start these veggies indoors, early March, then plant outside after May 15.
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplants

Start these veggies inside, then transplant outside when the ground thaws.
  • Peas
  • Potatoes

Start these veggies inside, then transplant near the end of April.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach

Start these veggies inside near the end of April or plant seeds outside May 15.
  • Beans
  • Zuchinni
  • Radishes
  • Corn
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Cucumber
  • Watermelon
  • Sunflowers

As you can see from these varying dates, it takes some planning for your spring garden to flourish the way you want it to. Again, keep in mind that the veggies named above are just a sampling of what can be grown here in Utah.

Besides veggies, several fruits flourish in Utah’s climate like apples, cherries, peaches, apricots, and pears. Elderberries and raspberries are also quite successful here. If you want to have fruit trees, the easiest way is to get a pot-grown tree from a nursery. You can plant it anytime between September and May. Spring is a good time to plant fruit trees. Raspberries can start from a cutting from an existing plant. Spring is a great time to start raspberries. They need full sun for the best yield.

How do you prepare your soil for planting?

When the snow melts and the ground thaws, you can work on your soil. The most successful gardens are in a sunny spot in your yard that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. In Utah, sometimes it can be difficult to get optimal soil. Some areas have soil with a lot of clay in it or a lot of sand. Clay soil can block water, air, light, and nutrients from getting to the roots of your plants. On the other hand, sandy soil is too loose. It can’t retain nutrients for optimal plant growth. By adding organic material like compost, you can improve the density of your soil plus you are adding nutrients that plants will need.

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