Now is the season for a winter garden in Utah! Root vegetables, various lettuce varieties, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, and onion (to name a few) do great during the Utah winter.
The most important step to gardening in the Utah Valley is having nutrient rich soil; plants need nutrients, just as we do, in order to grow and be healthy. The soil here in Southern Utah is very alkaline and lacks in most nutrients, so the key is to build a raised garden bed and create the perfect soil environment. You can use things like bricks, barrels, pots, and railroad ties to create the structure for your garden. Railroad ties are treated wood and contain asbestos, so be sure to line them on the inside with plastic to ensure that it doesn’t leach into your soil.
When designing your garden bed, ensure that it’s easily accessible;
gardening is much more enjoyable when you can be comfortable doing it. To optimally garden in both the winter and spring seasons, place your garden beds on the South and West facing areas of your yard.
The next step to creating your new garden is laying down a basic top soil. I like to fill my garden with about 75% top soil and then add steer manure and other nutrient rich organic matter. Things like bone meal, blood meal and phosphorus are great for nourishing your garden. The best thing to do is buy in bulk – not prepackaged – it’s cheaper and creates less waste. Remember, you will need to supplement your soil at least two weeks prior to your new growing season and be sure to get your seeds planted by mid-September to get a head start on growth before the chilly weather comes.