When is the growing season?

dtmurphreeMarch 24, 2010

I am not completely new to gardening, but I just moved out to Utah from Georgia. In Georgia, I would already be thinking about getting things in the ground in a week or so, but here it was snowing yesterday. I want a little garden with simple things like tomatoes, peppers, maybe a row of corn. When should I plan on planting them here in Utah? Thanks for any help!

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Depends on where you are, north, south, valley, high desert, foothills. Here in the Cedar City area, our traditional planting date is Memorial Day weekend. We typically have a 90 day growing season for tender plants. We also live at 6000' and it isn't unheard of to have snow in June. Too many different climate zones to give you one good answer. The best place to ask is one of the gardening centers near you. They can steer you in the right direction. Welcome to Utah!!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 11:53AM
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Welcome to Utah. Gardening can be a challenge here. I grew up in Illinois, where all you need to do is drop seeds and watch plants thrive.

Where in Utah? It makes a difference if you're at a higher elevation. If you're in the valley, it will start warming up and you might start thinking about planting your garden, but you should hold off. My rule of thumb is to put the garden in around mothers day. Some years you can get by planting earlier than that, but we too often get cold snaps and lose a lot of plants. Some things (like carrots) can be planted earlier, but things like peppers and tomatoes should wait. I learned this the hard way the year I moved into my house and lost all my tomatoes and peppers by planting too early.

Another thing to keep in mind is that fall frosts will be much earlier than you're accustomed to seeing. So you want to make sure you choose varieties that mature faster.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 11:57AM
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Hi there!

I too am new to Utah.....coming from Alabama and have the same questions. I brought lots of seeds that I'd gathered back in Bama and am chomping at the bit to sow them but am holding off. Restraint.....ugh!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 1:56PM
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Be aware that some plants that did well in Alabama will suffer here for a couple of reasons. One is that the growing season is much shorter. Another is that the soil tends to be alkaline. Some areas may have problems with salt buildup also.

Some plants have varieties that are better suited for Utah, but some plants will always suffer (such as blueberries) although you may be able to do something like using a planter or cointainer(s).

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 12:06PM
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aquawise(zone 4 Utah)

Hi all you newbies to this Awesome State. UTAH!!!! I have been her most of my 56 years, so if you have a ??????? or want some plant starts that do well here feel free to PM me. I love to help, I also have 3 ponds so feel free if you have any problems or want to start a pond.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 5:38PM
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abq_bob(USDA 5a/SS 2A)

I'd say Memorial Day to Labor day is usually a pretty good bet. You may get a bit longer on either end of the season, depending on how much you're willing to risk frost. Being a betting kinda person, if it looks like it's going to be nice, I'll try for May 1.

It just snowed again a couple days ago tho', so I'm aiming for Mother's Day this year... We'll see. And even then I may be using a cold frame since I don't think the ground is really warm enough for good germination, etc.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 7:32PM
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I have raised beds in SLC so my soil warms up pretty fast. I planted beets, chard, and carrots on March 15th. All germinated during a 2 week warm spell and they are thriving now. These were old seeds and I wanted to see if I could get them germinated for a few early veggies. It was a gamble but this year it worked.

I planted onion plants on April 1st. They have been growing for the last week. Leeks went in April 15th ad they are now established.

Planted cabbage and broccoli March 9th. The cabbage made it, the broccoli did not. Replanted the broccoli March 15th and they made it. They love this weather.

Tomatoes in Wall-O-Water about 2 weeks ago. They are fine with this weather. In fact all my tomatoes have been out for 2 weeks but I bring the potted ones inside when the temp is projected to be I generally target May 15 for the delicate stuff like eggplant, peppers, okra, cukes and unprotected tomatoes but I watch the 10 day forecast and adjust. I check my soil temp and pay pretty close attention to ideal germination temps for seeds. The cold stuff I plant loves the wet spring snow as long as it gets established before the storms hit.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 11:21AM
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abq_bob(USDA 5a/SS 2A)

3" of snow here last Thursday morning - I'm so ready for spring. I'm not used to this, coming from 10 years in zone 7. Although, I'm a SLC native, so I remember these atrociously long winter's - reminds me of "the old days" I remember where we seemingly go from snow-days to 100F+ days in a matter of a week or two.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 4:44PM
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I had the same problem when I moved to Utah and so I did a bunch of research which led me to posting the information on my blog for Utah. Check out the link below. I believe it will help a lot. I also just recently started an email reminder service that is currently free, so that you will receive an email anytime you are supposed to do something in the garden. Let me know what you think.

Here is a link that might be useful: My blog

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 3:58PM
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