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Starting a garden in St George

Posted by seandrobs St George, Utah (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 15, 08 at 20:14

I'm a first time home owner and have a little bit of red clay dirt in my back yard that i would like to use to plant some vegetables in. What is the best way to do this? I assume I need to bring in all my soil. Should I do a raised bed? Or dig out some of the dirt and put new stuff in? Also any suggestions on planting times and the different vegetables that do well for St George Utah would be great.

Thanks


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RE: Starting a garden in St George

I use raised beds in Salt Lake and they are great. I was fortunate to have an old above ground swimming pool when I moved here which, when I tore it out, gave me a lot of 2 X 6 redwood boards. I built my beds 3 X 8 X 2 boards high. That gives me 10" of amended soil and allows me to reach across from either side.

I was landscaping in other area so I had an excess of native dirt to work with. I filled the beds initially with a combination of local dirt, NutriMulch, and bag of composted steer manure (I get the NutriMulch and steer manure form Home Depot) to within 2" of the top of the bed. Mix and plant.

With raised beds you dont plant in traditional rows. You follow the seed spacing recommendations and fill up the bed. You wont find many weeds and those that grow are easy to see and pull. I water by hand with a wand which saves water. I buy straw and spread it on the paths between the beds which looks nice, keeps unwanted vegetation under control and requires next to no work.

I dont have any experience with St George but I imagine you can grow just about anything there. I think you would have to be careful with things like onions (intermediate zone varieties) and tomatoes that set in heat but otherwise you could grow everything in raised beds. I would throw myself at the mercy of a local nursery/garden center as far as varieties go. And probably start slow the first time. 2 beds will give you a taste for the hobby without tearing up a lot of the local area. You wont need a tiller. Just some 2 X 6s, a saw, screws, and a shovel. (I would use standard 2 X 6"s to start. They will rot in a few years but by then you will know if you like it). I would post some pics but it is not easy on this site.

Jim


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