Best Fall and Winter Crops

As economic times become harder for families, there is an increase in community gardens and small urban gardens. Back yards are a perfect location for a family to create a small garden masterpiece, providing them with fresh healthy vegetables.

The ultimate key to gardening is rotating crops so the garden is constantly producing bountiful produce year-round. A little garden knowledge and a green thumb will help new and experienced gardeners alike.

Additionally, gardeners need to ask themselves what their primary purpose of having a garden is:

  • Are they simply looking for fresh produce to incorporate into their diets?
  • Are they looking to can, freeze or store their ripe crops?

Utah has a perfect climate for growing a variety of produce, including asparagus, broccoli, beans, corn, cauliflower, eggplant, kale, onion, endive, parsley, rhubarb, peas, salsify, tomatoes and Swiss Chard. Several herbs grow well in Utah’s climate, including both annuals and perennials.

Overwintering vegetables is practical and highly recommended for the home gardener. Because some vegetables mature early in the spring, planting these crops in the fall helps them mature over the winter. Spinach, onions and carrots are great crops that winterize well, requiring little effort and abundant spring yields. As with any garden, great care should be given to address and eliminate pesky weeds. If the winter is dry, irrigation should be considered, as should an early application of fertilizer, such as a 10-20-0 ratio, which will help stimulate vegetable growth.

When planting a garden, always purchase high-quality seeds. The best seeds have the best results. Utah’s soils see a deficiency in nitrogen and phosphorous, so it is important that these nutrients be incorporated into a fertilizer. Landscaping specialists, such as Utah landscaping companies, Park City landscaping and Salt Lake City landscaping companies are professionals in providing advice about what areas of Utah have known soil deficiencies. Testing can also be completed to ensure the proper amounts of fertilizer are being applied, to help produce a healthy, bountiful garden.

Additionally, any time of year is a great time to start a compost pile. Using a variety of grass clippings, leaves, waste portions of vegetables, herbs, straw and manure help break down these organic materials so the following spring, gardeners can further spread organic nutrients throughout their budding, growing gardens.

Each year sees a new addition or hybrid-type seed. Often these types of seeds are introduced to the home gardener, as they are superior in disease resistance, quality and provide early harvest opportunities. Contacting a local university’s cooperative extension, gardener’s club or even a local government resource can provide a wealth of information, ensuring that home gardeners have healthy gardens year after year.