Gardening resources (local and mail-order)

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:

2009_garden_ready
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.

Stokes Seeds
Park Seed
Burpee
Whillhite Seed
Harris Seeds Company
Henry Fields Seed and Nursery
Tomato Growers (tomatoes and peppers)
Van Well (fruit trees)
Bay Laurel Nursery (fruit trees)

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.

14 Replies to “Gardening resources (local and mail-order)”

  1. Some of your listed seed sources are known for marginal quality. You might also try Baker Creek Heirloom seeds, Territorial seed, Seed Savers Exchange and Seeds of Change. Some of these more reputable companies actually have their own trial fields and germination testing labs on site (not all seed sources are alike). I would also like to recommend a book or two: Gardening when it counts (might help you opt for the more sustainable grub hoe rather than a power tiller), anything by Eliot Coleman, and Seed to Seed or Growing your own vegetable varieties (for truly long-term sustainability know-how). Happy gardening!

  2. Some of your listed seed sources are known for marginal quality. You might also try Baker Creek Heirloom seeds, Territorial seed, Seed Savers Exchange and Seeds of Change. Some of these more reputable companies actually have their own trial fields and germination testing labs on site (not all seed sources are alike). I would also like to recommend a book or two: Gardening when it counts (might help you opt for the more sustainable grub hoe rather than a power tiller), anything by Eliot Coleman, and Seed to Seed or Growing your own vegetable varieties (for truly long-term sustainability know-how). Happy gardening!

  3. Thank you for information about the seed suppliers. I received the list of suppliers here from someone else and have not used all of them myself. I will most definitely give the ones you suggested a try.

  4. Thank you for information about the seed suppliers. I received the list of suppliers here from someone else and have not used all of them myself. I will most definitely give the ones you suggested a try.

  5. Hey There!

    This is useful ANY time too! In fact, serious preppers do these things all the time.

    Great blog posting – thanks for the insight, information and help on readiness.

    ~TheSurvivor

  6. Hey There!

    This is useful ANY time too! In fact, serious preppers do these things all the time.

    Great blog posting – thanks for the insight, information and help on readiness.

    ~TheSurvivor

  7. How are you watering your garden? I am planning on using two soaker hoses in my new garden. This should save on water usage.

    Also, where do you step in your garden? Do you have set paths, or just make it up as you go?

    Lastly, did you add any organic matter to your soil?

    Thanks!

    Tristan (new gardener)

  8. How are you watering your garden? I am planning on using two soaker hoses in my new garden. This should save on water usage.

    Also, where do you step in your garden? Do you have set paths, or just make it up as you go?

    Lastly, did you add any organic matter to your soil?

    Thanks!

    Tristan (new gardener)

  9. Using a drip system would be great. It both saves water and is best for the plants. I use surface irrigation (watering in furrows) currently (second best to drip). I walk down the furrows (yes, that means I don’t walk in the garden the day or two after I water). I fertilize with 16-16-8, ironite, sulfer, and homemade compost composed of kitchen scraps and yard waste.

  10. Using a drip system would be great. It both saves water and is best for the plants. I use surface irrigation (watering in furrows) currently (second best to drip). I walk down the furrows (yes, that means I don’t walk in the garden the day or two after I water). I fertilize with 16-16-8, ironite, sulfer, and homemade compost composed of kitchen scraps and yard waste.

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