Utah Gardening Basics

In northern Utah, gardening can be challenging for the uninitiated.
Our unpredictable, ever-changing weather and unfriendly soil conditions battle even the most dedicated of efforts. If you’re new to growing your own fruits and vegetables, a few Utah gardening tips may be in order.
Try starting your garden with some of these vegetables this year, to cut down on some of that frustration.
Who doesn’t love the possibility of picking all the elements for a delicious, healthy salad right from their own back yard?
Lettuce is easy to grow, produces a huge harvest, and it’s ready to go in as little as six weeks. Even better, it grows well from seed and resists most garden pests. Try romaine, butterhead, Bibb or any of the looseleaf varieties.
This is one of Utah’s gardening favorites, both because it’s easy to grow and it’s so versatile in the kitchen.
Cucumbers grow well in full sun but need soil with good drainage. If you really adore this veggie, plant seeds in early spring and a second crop halfway through the summer. Choose your varietals based on whether you prefer to pickle them or eat them fresh.
Some Utah gardeners might argue including tomatoes on an “easy to grow” list but, with a few tiny tricks, you’ll have more than you know what to do with.
The first secret to growing tomatoes are to buy and plant seedlings, rather than plant from seed. The second is to keep your plants in partial shade using shade fabric or a portable shade structure that can be moved and adjusted depending on the time of year.
If it’s your first go, try Early Girl, Jasper or Celebrity.
Onions are good for your Utah gardening endeavors on several fronts.
Of course, they’re extremely versatile – and tasty – for a variety of dishes. But they’re also part of a healthy garden ecosystem. When planted among other vegetables, they help keep pests to a minimum. Just take care, because some plants that share the soil near onions can take on their flavors.
You have many types and varieties to choose from, including sweet varieties like Vidalia or Sweet Spanish, Bermuda, and Long Red Florence.
Hint: If you want green onions, pull them when the tops are about six inches tall. They’re full grown when the tops droop over.
Zucchini and Yellow Squash
If you’ve had friends or family members with gardens, you may have shared in their past bounty. This vegetable variety is so easy to grow that you’re almost guaranteed to have more than you can use – much more.
Choose any regular or heirloom variety you prefer but plant less than you think you’ll need, or be prepared to give lots away!
In the Salt Lake City area, Millcreek Gardens has all the fruit and vegetable varieties, soil amendments and gardening supplies you need. Stop by and speak to one of our friendly, helpful staff members. We’re always happy to answer your questions and point you in the right direction for all of your Utah gardening needs.