Gardening in Utah can be a wonderfully enjoyable and productive experience. Knowing how to get started however can be a major deterrent for many people. Fortunately, there are a number of local resources we can rely upon in order to help us to get started on the path to productive, self-sufficient gardening.
After doing some research myself, here’s my garden fertilized and tilled, ready for the first planting next week:
If you are interested in getting started, keep reading for some recommendations on local resources.
The Utah State University Cooperative Extension in Provo has great information about soil quality, planting/harvesting calendars, bulletins on topics such as pests and pruning, quarterly newsletters, links to farmers markets, and general tips and tricks. This page on growing vegetables in Utah and it’s accompanying chart are a great place for a beginner to start as they cover what varieties are good for our climate and when they should be planted.
We are also fortunate to have a lot of nurseries and greenhouses in the state, especially along the Wasatch Front. While it will be hard to recommend one, I do recommend that you visit them and see if they have what you need. I believe it is good citizenship to support our local businesses. Also, the more demand we put on them the more they will increase their variety and supply. Super-centers or home improvement stores are good resources for tools, soil, starter kits, and some fertilizers, but there are some things that I have only been able to find at Intermountain Farmer’s Association and Cook’s Nursery in Orem. This year, for example, the best price I found on Peat Moss was at Home Depot and IFA was the only place that I could find Soil Sulpher. You can also get some seeds at a super-center or a home improvement store, but their variety is generally quite poor and is not likely to be specific to our climate.
I was asked in a previous post for recommendations on where to buy seeds and gardening supplies. Below is a list of some of the top seed suppliers. Visit their websites and you can request a free catalog.
Lastly, Internet Grocer sells a 1.2 pound package of non-hybrid, open pollinated (heirloom) seeds that would be a wise addition to your emergency storage. It contains 30 varieties of seeds and is packaged for long-term storage.