I need a few people to represent our Garden Group at the SL Library, Thursday, April 2nd, 7:30 - 8:45 pm

Julia and Chris are attending this meeting.

This is a group that I am acquainted with who are forming a local Food Shed from people, like us, who are planting gardens all over the SL valley. I've been to one of the meetings and it's a good group of people and we need to stay in the loop. Whoever can go, needs to tell them that you are representing Sheryl McGlochlin and her Holladay Garden Group. They should remember me. Your contact person is: Shane Smith. Details are in the letter below. RSVP and let me know BEFORE Thursday (since I'm leaving town Thursday morning) if you can go to this important Local Food meeting. The following is the email he just sent to me on Monday, March 30, 2009.

Hello friends,

It's almost time to talk local food again. We will address from seed to table, the multiple facets of local food production and distribution and will begin to define the Regional Foodshed Publication Products our team will be producing. The following agenda is somewhat simplistic, but my hope is that we as a team will decide what will be doing together to educate and promote the many aspects of Local Food. I'm excited to see all of you again (as well as those who will be joining us for the first time). Also, please forward this to those not on the list who may be interested in learning more or aiding this effort.

WHAT (brief, vague but hopefully catchy agenda):
* Fabulous Introductions

* The Fruits of our labor: Develop an extraordinary Vision for our work as a team

* Row-by-Row: Identify next steps and who will be helping with what (this could be catchier, I know)

The details of the gathering: location
WHERE: Salt Lake City Main Library Downtown, Conference Room C, level 1

WHO: All of us and then some (open to the public)

WHEN: Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 from 7:30p to 8:45p, I will be in the room sometime around 7p.

Dimensions of our Current Gardens

Here are the dimensions of each of our properties:

1) Sheryl's Garden: 25' x 69'
2) Sheryl's Extention Garden (a 2nd garden space near the Green Flower Cart): 16' x 17'
3) Corn Patch Garden - 88' x 59'
4) Jim and Kathy's Garden - 16' 8" x 21' 4"
5) Vicki's Garden - 52' x 17' 9" tapering off to 7' 8" on the other end. Length stays 52'
6) Mt. Springs Garden - 8 Box Gardens
Two 4' x 4' 4", two 4' x 4' 2", two 4' x 5' 8", two 4' x 5'10"
These are in partial shade - can't plant anything that needs full sun in these box gardens.
7) Lois's Garden - Box garden area that is a VERY low priority right now, since we would have to get all the materials, build the boxes and furnish all the dirt, etc.

We have dropped the Heart of Holladay Garden AND the Horse Pasture Garden this season but have been given two other garden properties that are even better!

Earth Day, April 22, 2009, We need your help.


Welcome to Earthfest at the University of Utah!

Date: Earthday, April 22, 2009

Where: The University Union Patio Walkway

Time: The fair is from 10:30 am until 1:30 pm. Parking is available in the visitor
lot east of the Union building and Alumni lot for overflow. Validations
will be provided. Check-in will be at the Student Affairs Information Booth
on the Patio Walkway.

1 table and 2 chairs will be provided for each vendor with additional tables and chairs available upon request. Please handle transactions manually, electricity is limited.

Flat carts or sidewalk passes will be available to unload/load on the Union Patio Walkway.

There will be a raffle and we are asking all vendors to donate one item.

Indoor backup will be in the Union Ballroom.

We are asking vendors to please practice Leave No Trace.

Directions to the University Union (Student Union), 200 South Central Campus Drive: The most direct approach would be 1300 East to 100 South. Turn right (east) on 100 South. 100 South curves as you enter campus and becomes North Campus Drive. Turn right at the first light, Central Campus Drive, the Union building is about ¼ mile south of the light.

Thank you for your participation in Earthfest. Please confirm by April 8, 2009.

Karol Conrad
Student Affairs Sustainability Committee
University of Utah
801-581-7251 conrad@union.utah.edu

As of March 29, see what we've planted...

Our gardens are looking better and better EVERY week!! We have planted spinach, lettuce, carrots, peas and beets from seed. These are cold weather plants and it's a perfect time to get them in the ground. We'll continue to plant more every week so we have produce coming up continually throughout the season.

Based on some expert advice, we have made some adjustments on where we will plant our veggies but since we have a TON of space and the soil is VERY rich on all of our properties, it's not a problem.

Indoors, we are continuing to grow (from seeds) 48 plants of cabbage, peppers, broccoli, and lots of tomatoes.

To those who came this week, we gave away lots of bagels and samples of my delicious Apricot Freezer Jam that we'll be making again this summer. During the coming weeks, all those who come and help in the garden will get more samples of these treats - including another super delicious freezer jam we made last year - Freezer Pear Jam! You won't believe how good these low-sugar freezer jams taste! I'll be sharing the recipes with you soon also.

Vegetable Gardening 101

1. Grow only those vegetables you enjoy eating. Give priority to those prized for incredible flavor when eaten fresh from the garden: sweet corn, beans and peas, tomatoes and young spinach, among others.

2. Prepare a plot of flat ground that gets full sun nearly all day. Break up and turn the soil and add compost or other organic material (See How to Buy Soil Amendments). A full day of blazing sunshine is especially important if you grow vegetables in the cool weather of early spring, early fall or winter.

3. Figure out how much growing space you have and plant accordingly. Lettuce, for example, can be grown in a solid mat, but tomatoes need to be spaced about 2 feet (60 cm) apart. Give pumpkins at least 4 feet (120 cm) of growing room. Growing requirements are provided on seed packets, in catalogs, and on nursery tags, as well as in books on growing vegetables.

4. Choose crops that require less room if you have a small garden or grow vegetables in a container. Lettuce is a great pot plant, and 'Patio' or 'Tumbler' tomatoes will grow well in a hanging basket. Plants that climb and vine, such as cucumbers and pole beans, can be trained up a trellis to take up less room horizontally. Tuck herbs and parsley into flower beds.

5. Schedule plantings around the two main growing seasons which vary by region: cool (spring and fall) and warm (summer). Common cool-season vegetables include beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach and turnips. Warm-season crops include beans, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers, pumpkins, squash and tomatoes.

6. Sow some seeds directly in the ground as they grow best that way: beans, beets, carrots, chard, corn, lettuce, melons, peas, pumpkins, squash and turnips. Starting seeds is, of course, much less expensive than planting seedlings sold in flats, packs and pots.

7. Start with nursery seedlings of certain other crops unless you are an experienced vegetable grower. These plants tend to do better when set out in the garden as seedlings: eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Squash and cucumbers are among a few you can plant just as effectively as either seeds or seedlings.

8. Buy seeds at nurseries or by mail order starting just after the New Year, when the selection is freshest. Look for seed packets marked as having been packed for the current year.

9. Buy vegetables online and from mail-order companies for a far greater selection than you'll find at neighborhood nurseries. Burpee (burpee.com), Johnny's Selected Seeds (johnnyseeds .com), Park Seed Company (parkseed.com) and Thompson and Morgan (thompson-morgan.com) are a few long-established sources.

10. Shop for seedlings when your soil is prepared and you are ready to plant. Keep them moist and don't let them sit around for more than three days before planting. Buy healthy and vigorous seedlings. They should stand up straight & be stocky, not lanky, with no yellow leaves or bug holes.

11. Save money and get truly involved with your garden by starting seeds indoors in winter and transplanting them into the garden in spring. It's simplest to start with complete kits, sold at garden centers and through catalogs, containing fluorescent lights, soil mix, containers and watering devices.

12. Sow seeds of colorful radishes or giant sunflowers to introduce children to the satisfaction and fun of growing their own food. Or lean 3 stakes together, tie them together at the top, and train pole beans up the stakes. Voila`! A bean teepee.

Avoiding Weeds In Your Vegetable Garden
No one likes to weed a garden. Fortunately, there are several things that can help prevent weeds in the first place, so you won't have to deal with them once the garden is planted (or at least, not nearly as many of them).
1. Before you plant, clear the ground and put some extra time into clearing the soil of any perennial weeds. Make sure you get as much of the root as possible - not just the part that's visible - so the weeds won’t grow back.

2. Don't disturb the soil during routine care. Cultivating the soil in your garden can bring weed seeds up to the surface where they can sprout. Try to keep the soil disturbance to a minimum when maintaining your garden throughout the growing season.

3. Crop rotation. Some crops are more capable of fighting weeds than others. For example, potatoes can crowd out the weeds a lot more easily than onions. By rotating your crops around your garden from one year to the next, it's less likely that weeds will build up in one part of it.

4. Mulch. Cover bare soil with mulch to keep weeds from getting the light they need to grow. This can be organic mulch, such as rotted compost, or inorganic mulch such as landscape cloth. Organic mulch is easier to spread between the vegetables you have planted. It should be one to three inches deep to suppress weeds.

Growing Vegetables In Small Spaces or Container
While a huge garden with almost limitless space is a dream for most gardeners, the reality is we usually only have a fraction of what we would like. Some of us might even be limited to a few small planters on a porch or balcony. Don't let that discourage you though. It just means you need to plan a little differently.

You'll want to grow vegetables that are high yielding. For example, a single zucchini planted in a container could produce a dozen or more fruit over the course of the summer, where the same container planted with spinach might only produce enough for a single serving (or less).

Vegetables that thrive when planted in containers include: tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, carrots, chard, lettuce, beans, peas, and cucumbers.

How To Have A Constant Supply Of Vegetables
Have you ever found yourself with way too much of a vegetable when the time comes that it's ready to harvest? The problem is the way most people plant their garden - a row of one vegetable, another row of a second one and so on.

The more effective way to plant that will give you a steady supply of vegetables over a longer season is called succession planting. Basically, instead of a single row of each vegetable split a single row into multiple vegetables. So one row might have 3 or 4 sections, each with its own seeds planted.

Then two weeks later, plant the same group in the second row. Two weeks later, do it again in the third row.
This way, each row will be ready to harvest two weeks after the previous one, giving you a fresh supply for longer, and keeping you from having to find ways to get rid of all the extras.

Garden Planning 101
The size of your garden will depend on several things:
* How many mouths you're feeding
* How much time you have to spend in it
* How enthusiastic you are about gardening

Keep in mind that you shouldn't be too ambitious, especially if you're new to vegetable gardening. A garden that's too big quickly become a chore rather than a fun hobby.

Unless your yard requires it, it's best to avoid flowing, unusual shapes. Stick with squares or rectangle as they allow for more efficient use of space. Plus, they tend to make it easier to reach everything in the garden for maintenance and harvesting once your vegetables get larger.

When you're planning your vegetable garden, one of the things to consider is what's on the ground where you want to plant? If it's bare soil, you're halfway there, but it's more likely lawn if you haven't planted a garden before. If you need to get rid of grass for your garden, it's not a difficult thing to do, just use a sharp spade to undercut the sod and remove it.

Trees or shrubs are another story - they can be a lot more difficult to relocate or even to simply remove if you no longer want them. The roots can be far-reaching as well and may interfere with your garden when it comes time to start digging.

When you're planning the location for your garden, think about how much time and effort you want to put in. If your ideal spot is going to take too much time or work, you might want to think about an alternative.

Preparing the soil
Fertile, well drained soil is necessary for a successful garden. The exact type of soil is not so important as that it be well drained, well supplied with organic matter, reasonably free of stones, and moisture retentive. The subsoil also is very important. Hard shale, rock ledges, gravel beds, deep sand, or hardpan under the surface may make the development of garden soil extremely difficult or impossible. On the other hand, infertile soil that has good physical properties can be made productive by using organic matter, lime, commercial fertilizer, and other soil improving materials.

If your garden has already been cultivated and used in past years, there is little to do other than to plow in additional organic material, and fertilizers. The fertilizer may be in the form of composted manure or any good commercial complete plant food distributed at a rate of 3 or 4 pounds for every thousand square feet of vegetable garden. Infertile soil will often benefit from even larger proportions of chemical fertilization, but care must be taken not to add too much because of the danger of fertilizer burn. When manure is added to the soil, it must be composted prior to planting, because fresh, hot manure will also burn your plants.

As Your Garden Grows:
During dry periods, vegetable gardens need extra watering. Most vegetables benefit from an inch or more water each week, especially when they are fruiting.
If possible, use a drip hose or drip system for watering. With a drip system, you don’t loose any water to evaporation. It also encourages less rot or blight on tomatoes and other vegetables.

Mulching between the rows will help to control weeds, conserve moisture in the soil, and provide you with pathways to access your plants. Black plastic may be used, or you can utilize grass clippings, straw, wood chips, or garden debris.

Throughout the growing season be vigilante against insect pests. Discovering a bug problem early will make it much easier to take appropriate action and eliminate the pests. Do not use pesticides once the plants have fruited unless it becomes an absolute necessity, and be sure to follow the manufacturers recommendations.

Weeds rob your vegetables of water, light and root space. Keep them pulled out regularly (try to get the entire root) and the job isn't too bad. If they are allowed to go to seed, you may be dealing with thousands of weeds instead of a few. Once you have harvested your crop, put the spent plant and other vegetable matter into your compost pile so that it can be recycled into your garden again, next spring.

The KSL Greenhouse with Tim Hughes and Larry Sagers
airs each Saturday morning from 8 am - 11 am.

Check KSL Classifieds and Craigslist for plant exchanges or giveaways.

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/utgard/ (Utah info)
www.parkseed.com or www.burpee.com

How To Square Foot Garden

It's easy to get started with your own square foot garden at home. As easy as 1, 2, 3 and you'll be harvesting in no time!

1. Pick the location. Location Matters!

* Pick an area that gets 6-8 hours of sunshine daily.
* Stay clear of trees and shrubs where roots and shade may interfere.
* Have it close to the house for convenience.
* Existing soil is not really important, since you won't be using it.
* Area should not puddle after a heavy rain.

2. Follow The Ten Basics

1. LAYOUT - Arrange your garden in squares, not rows. Lay it out in 4'x4' planting areas.
2. BOXES - Build boxes to hold a new soil mix above ground.
3. AISLES - Space boxes 3' apart to form walking aisles.
4. SOIL - Fill boxes with special soil mix: 1/3 blended compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 coarse vermiculite.
5. GRID - Make a permanent square foot grid for the top of each box. A MUST!
6. CARE - NEVER WALK ON YOUR GROWING SOIL. Tend your garden from the aisles.
7. SELECT - Plant a different flower, vegetable, or herb crop in each square foot, using 1, 4, 9, or 16 plants per square foot.
8. PLANT - Conserve seeds. Plant only a pinch (2 or 3 seeds) per hole. Place transplants in a slight saucer-shaped depression.
9. WATER - Water by hand from a bucket of sun-warmed water.
10. HARVEST - When you finish harvesting a square foot, add compost and replant it with a new and different crop.


LAYOUT: Always think in squares: lay out 4 foot by 4 foot planting areas with wide walkways between them.

BOXES: 4x4 Foot Garden -- Build garden box frames no wider than 4 feet, and 6 to 8 inches deep. The length is not as important, but a recommended size for your first time is one frame 4 foot by 4 foot. You can, of course, go smaller. A 2 foot by 2 foot works great on patios and 3 foot by 3 foot box is ideal for kids. Frames can be made from almost any material except treated wood, which has toxic chemicals that might leach into the soil. 1 by 6 or 2 by 6 lumber is ideal, and comes in 8-foot lengths. Most lumber yards will cut it in half at little or no cost. Exact dimensions are not critical. Deck screws work best to fasten the boards together. Rotate or alternate corners to end up with a square inside.

AISLES: If you plan to have more than one garden box, separate them by 2 or 3 feet to form walkways.

SOIL: Fill frame with a mixture of 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 coarse vermiculite (no dirt needed). A blended compost made from many ingredients provides all the nutrients the plants require (no chemical fertilizers needed). Peat moss and vermiculite help hold moisture and keep the soil loose. It's best to make your own compost from many ingredients but if you have to buy it, make sure it is truly compost. Some stores sell mulch or humus and other ground covers but call it compost. Most commercial compost is made from one or two ingredients so to be safe, don't buy all of one kind but one of each kind until you have enough for your garden. It's really best to make your own compost, then you know what goes in it. When buying vermiculite, be sure to get the coarse grade, and get the more economical 4 cubic foot size bags. If placing frames over grass you can dig out the grass or cover it with cardboard or landscape cloth to discourage grass and weeds from coming up through your new garden soil.

GRID: On top of each frame place a permanent grid that divides the box into one foot squares. The grid is the unique feature that makes the whole system work so well. To show you why the grid is so important, do this little demonstration: Look at your 4 foot by 4 foot box with the grid on and imagine up to 16 different crops. What you see before you is a neat and attractive, well organized garden, that will be easy to manage. Now remove the grid. Could you organize and manage this space without dividing it up into squares? Besides, without the grid you will be tempted to plant in rows, which is a poor use of space. Grids can be made from nearly any material; wood, plastic strips, old venetian blinds, etc. Use screws or rivets to attach them where they cross. On a 4 foot by 4 foot frame, the grid divides the frame into 16 easy-to-manage spaces, for up to 16 different crops. Leave the grid in place all season. The grid can be cut long enough to fit across the top of the box or cut shorter to lay on the soil inside the box.

CARE: Since you will NEVER walk on or depress the growing soil, don't make the frames any wider than 4 feet (2 feet, if only one side is accessible). Any wider makes it too difficult to reach in to tend the plants.

SELECT: Depending on the mature size of the plant, grow 1, 4, 9, or 16 equally spaced plants per square foot. If the seed packet recommends plant spacing be 12 inches apart, plant one plant per square foot. If 6 inch spacing; 4 per square foot. If 4 inch spacing; 9 per square foot. If 3 inch spacing; 16 per square foot.

PLANT: Plant one or two seeds in each spot by making a shallow hole with your finger. Cover, but do not pack the soil. Thinning is all but eliminated. Seeds are not wasted. Extra seeds can be stored cool and dry in your refrigerator. Don't over-plant. Plant only as much of any one crop as you will use. This 4 foot by 4 foot box will grow more than a conventional garden that is 8 foot by 10 foot.

WATER: Water only as much as each plant needs. Water often, especially at first, and on very hot dry days, If possible, water by hand ( uses a lot less water ) with a cup from a sun-warmed bucket of water. Warm water helps the soil warm up in early and late season.

HARVEST: Harvest continually and when a crop in one square is gone, add some new compost and plant a new different crop in that square.

Tips from the experts:

Diane and Dare Allen:
If you want a successful garden, put most of your effort into creating excellent soil.
Best way to water your garden is with a drip system.
Favorite nursery: Willard Bay Nursery - 7095 S Highway 89, Willard, UT 84340 www.willardbaygardens.com/
If you expect to loose 20% of your crops every year and you’ll be happy with your garden

Marion Searle:
The KSL program “Greenhouse” with Tim Hughes and Larry Sagers that airs each Saturday morning from 8am to 11am is a wonderful way to learn about gardening.
Another great source of information is Larry Sagers. www.larrysagers.com

Mini Hicks:
Grow what you know your family will eat
Figure out what grows well in your yard. Mini can’t grow beet in her yard but her daughter-in-law, Karen, can.
Trial and error is inevitable. That is how you learn what grows best in your garden
Mini plants her peas mid-March, no matter what the weather. She just pokes the ground with a pencil and plants the seeds.
Share the bounty!

Heidi Bethers:
Heidi likes raised box beds that are long and thin. This way you can access all plants without having to step into the bed. SHe has included a list of her favorite gardening websites at the end of this email.

Joyce and Julie Miller:
Don't grow tomatoes on a hill.
Don't grow pumpkins next to squash or zucchini. You won't get any zucchini and the pumpkins will be small.

Favorite Nurseries:
Tri-City Nursery in Kaysville.
Cook's Greenhouse Nursery in Orem.
If you like seeds, you really need to see Granite Seed Company's website. They're in Lehi.
Wasatch Shadows in Sandy.
Linden Nursery in Lindon .
Alpine Gardens in Brigham (Perry actually)
Willard Bay Gardens is the best place in the state for perennials. It’s in Box Elder County.
Millcreek Gardens on 9th at about 35th south.
J & J Nursery in Layton (Best tomato plants!)
High Country Gardens. They have a good selection of plants that are water-wise.
There is a lady in Brigham (Edna Secrist) that has the very cheapest prices for a somewhat limited selection of perennials. She sells out of her yard. Price is $3 for well established gallon plants. Some are as high as $4. She propagates her own and they have all gone through one Utah winter. Drive east on 600 south in Brigham. Her home is on the south side of the street several blocks up. After mid-April when she gets the pots out of her greenhouse you can't miss it.
Empire Gardens (Wholesale & retail, easiest way to find it is to head north on 700 East and around 3600 South look for a tiny street marked "Empire" on your right.) Bring a checkbook & look for Ruth. Knock on the door if you can't find anyone. Great for gallon pots of drought resistant perennials, shrubs, trees. Family relationship with Millcreek Gardens.
Cactus & Tropicals (corner of 2000 E & 2700 S)
Farmers Market (8am Saturday at Pioneer Park) Consider the lilies near Borski Farms & Caputo's on north side of market, heading east. Empire Gardens has a sampling of plants further west on that north side walkway.
Vineyard Nursery just west of Orem off Geneva Road. Not fancy but their prices are about 25% less than everywhere and it feels really homey

Helpful Gardening Websites

Gardening online is one of the best tools a gardener has. We now have access to current research, new plant introductions and wonderful photographs to help us identify all kinds of disgusting plant pests and disease problems. Here are some sites that are truly helpful:

1. The Plants Database at Dave's Garden.com
Dave's site is a gardener friendly destination. The plant database is billed as the largest in the world, "...with 86,188 entries, 58,365 images and 33,503 comments." You can search by name or plant characteristics or just browse through the pictures. Searches are limited if you are not a registered member, but membership is free. davesgarden.com

2. Fine Gardening Magazine's Guide to Pronouncing Botanical Latin
Now this is fun. If you've ever wondered how to pronounce some of those tongue twisters, like maybe agastache foeniculum, you can hear it here. Fine Gardening always includes a phonetic list of the plants mentioned in their magazine, but nothing beats hearing it pronounced. taunton.com

3. Cyndi's Catalog of Garden Catalogs
Contacts and critiques of more than 2,000 catalogs from around the world. Is there a better service that could be provided to an avid gardener? gardenlist.com

4. Cooperative Extension Systems
Every state has a Cooperative Extension System. Regional offices offer location specific advice on a broad array of topics, including gardening. Most have gardening hotlines and offer informational fact sheets, soil testing and pest identification for free or a nominal cost. Often the help is provided by Master Gardeners who are trained to assist the agriculture agents with home gardener's needs. You might even want to check out the requirements for becoming a Master Gardener yourself. extension.usu.edu - or pick another state (VA has a great site)

5. Insect Identification Laboratory, Dept. of Entomology, VA Tech
You may have to do some digging around , but this content rich site provides excellent insect images, including household pests and those that attack ornamentals and edibles. It also goes into control measures and pesticide info. Much of the information is broken down by type of problem, such as Insects that feed on leaves or bore into wood. everest.ento.vt.edu

6. Vegetable MD Online
There is nothing like a picture when you are trying to identify what's wrong with your plants. Unlike ornamentals that all seem to share the same fungal disease problems, vegetables can exhibit an abundance of symptoms. That's why Cornell's Vegetable MD Online is so popular. There's a photo gallery for identifying the problem, fact sheets for solving it and IPM links to keep it from happening again. vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/Home.htm

7. Extoxnet - Pesticide Information Profiles
Extoxnet (EXtension TOXicology NETwork) is the joint venture of a handful of land-grant universities across the U.S. They provide Pesticide Information Profiles (PIPs) which give specific information on a pesticide's health and environmental effects. Be sure to follow label instructions when using any pesticide. extoxnet.orst.edu

8. The U.S. National Arboretum - Invasive Plants
Whether its' kudzu, garlic mustard or purple loosetrife, the best way to deal with an invasive plant is to keep it out of your garden. Here the experts give you tips on dealing with enthusiastic unwelcome garden guests. There are links to each state's Invasive Plant Council, with lists and photos of plants to be on the lookout for. usna.usda.gov/Gardens/invasives.html

9. Cornell University Poisonous Plants Informational Database
A lot of misinformation about which plants are poisonous has found its way into "common knowledge". Here you can search for information on particular plants, like your Christmas Poinsettia, or find out what plants to avoid to keep you, your kids, your pets and even your livestock safe. ansci.cornell.edu/plants/

10. About.com Gardening Forum
What is so great about this forum is how knowledgeable the participants are and the wide geographic distribution of their experience. If you're the type who likes to chat with other gardeners (and you're constantly censored by other forums for it) you'll also find some good conversation here.

Reprinted from About.com’s website

Try also:

bbc.co.uk/gardening/ -- has a great online gardening diary and other great tips and garden ideas, plant lists and pest lists

larrysagers.com -- local gardening radio host with lots of local gardening information. Check out the Gardening Articles section for great advice on many topics.
Also go to KSL.com Follow links to radio, Saturday lineup, and greenhouse show for more local gardening tips.

HAPPY SURFING! Call Heidi Bethers 801-273-0030 if you have a favorite site to recommend.


Excellent Garden Books - FREE - check out at the Library!

A backyard vegetable garden for kids
by Leavitt, Amie Jane.
Hockessin, Del. : Mitchell Lane Publishers, c2009.
Call Number:
J635 Lea

Miracle-Gro complete guide to vegetables, fruits & herbs
by Meredith Books.
Des Moines, Iowa : Meredith Books, 2008.
Call Number:
635 Mir

by Conran, Terence., Clevely, A. M., 1945-
London : Conran Octupus ; New York, NY : Distributed in the U.S. by Sterling, 2008, c1999.

Grow it, cook it
by Lock, Deborah., Parrish, Margaret., Bloomfield, Jill., DK Publishing, Inc.
New York, N.Y. : DK Pub., 2008.
Call Number:
J635 Gro

How to grow beans, peas, asparagus, artichokes and other shoots : growing legumes and edible shoots, including celery, celeriac, globe artichokes and seakale, with 180 photographs
by Bird, Richard, 1942-
London : Southwater, c2008.
Call Number:
635 Bir

How to grow tomatoes : a practical gardening guide for great results, with step-by-step techniques and 175 photographs.
by Bird, Richard., Bird, Richard
London : Southwater Pub, c2008.
Call Number:
635.642 Bir

Grow vegetables
by Buckingham, Alan., Whittingham, Jo.
New York, NY : DK Pub., c2008.
Call Number:
635 Buc

The veggie gardener's answer book : solutions to every problem you'll ever face : answers to every question you'll ever ask
by Ellis, Barbara W.
North Adams, MA : Storey Pub., c2008.
Call Number:
635 Ell

by Bird, Richard, 1942-
London : Southwater ; [Lanham, Md.] : North American agent/distributor, National Book Network, c2007.

Buried treasures : tasty tubers of the world : how to grow and enjoy root vegetables, tubers, rhizomes, and corms
by Hanson, Beth., Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Brooklyn, NY : Brooklyn Botanic Garden, c2007.
Call Number:
635.1 Bur

Perennial vegetables : from artichoke to zuiki taro, a gardener's guide to over 100 delicious, easy-to-grow edibles
by Toensmeier, Eric.
White River Junction, Vt. : Chelsea Green Pub., c2007.
Call Number:
635 Toe

Vegetable gardening
by Whittingham, Jo., Royal Horticultural Society (Great Britain)
New York, N.Y. : DK Pub., 2007.
Call Number:
635 Whi

by Thomas, Ceri.
[London] : BBC Books, c2007.

Growing vegetables & fruit around the year : a calender of monthly tasks for the kitchen garden, with over 300 photographs and 80 step-by-step techniques
by Edwards, Jonathan, 1959-, McHoy, Peter.
London : Southwater ; Lanham, MD : NOrth American agent/distributor, National Book Network, c2006.
Call Number:

Preserving Your Garden Produce - here are some great resources

How to store your garden produce : the key to self-sufficiency
by Warren, Piers.
Totnes, Devon : Green Books, 2008.
Call Number:
641.4 War

Complete book of home preserving : 400 delicious and creative recipes for today
by Kingry, Judi., Devine, Lauren., Ball Corporation.
Toronto : Robert Rose, c2006.
Call Number:
641.42 Com

Preserving nature's bounty
by Bissell, Frances.
New York : Sterling Pub., 2006.
Call Number:
641.42 Bis

How to store your garden produce : the key to self-sufficiency
by Warren, Piers., Winn, Chris.
Devon, U.K. : Green Books, 2003.
Call Number:
641.452 War

Preserving fruits & vegetables
by Costenbader, Carol W.
Pownal, Vt : Storey Publ., 1996.
Call Number:
641.4 Cos

Preserving summer's bounty : a quick and easy guide to freezing, canning, preserving, and drying what you grow
by McClure, Susan, 1957-, Rodale Food Center.
Emmaus, Pa. : Rodale Press ; [New York] : Distributed in the book trade by St. Martin's Press, c1995.
Call Number:
641.4 Pre

Keeping the harvest : preserving your fruits, vegetables & herbs
by Chioffi, Nancy, 1942-, Mead, Gretchen., Thompson, Linda M.
Pownal, Vt. : Storey Communications, 1991.
Call Number:


News for Week of March 23 - 28, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, Earth Day. We have been asked to participate in a booth/activity at the U of U and will need some help. Details are coming soon.

We have dropped the Heart of Holladay Garden Property since there were too many issues and changes to deal with i.e. rules, regulations, too many chiefs, etc.

We have acquired another garden property: Naniloa Garden. It is owned by my good friends Vicki and Brian Smoot. Besides all the delicious veggies we'll grow there, they also have plenty of grape vines AND apple, apricot, plum and peach trees near our garden that we'll receive.

Salt Lake Tribune Newspaper is planning to do a story on our Garden Group. I am currently a member of the SL Tribune "Money Matters" Panel (helping people save money on food). I've been telling my editor/writer friend about our group. She's excited to learn more about our group. I'll keep you posted.

FYI- Dutch Oven Dinner and Campfire, Wed. March 25, 6 - 8 pm. My backyard, $7/person. Chuck Wagon Dinner (BBQ Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Tossed Dark Green Salad, Texas Bread, Peach Raspberry Cream Cheese Cobbler w/ Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream). This is a GREAT deal for $7!! RSVP. Only a few openings left.

FYI- Intro to Flat Water Kayaking, Thursday, March 26, $12/person, 2 classes to choose from: 6 - 7:30 OR 7:45 - 9:15. Class is held in a beautiful, heated indoor swimming pool near my home. RSVP soon. Only a few openings left.

Two of the Six Garden Properties are nearly ready for planting!

Get acquainted with our six garden properties!

1) Salsa Garden - my backyard, it will have other plants growing as well but is will be known for the tomatoes and peppers we put in there. We also have over 500 sq. feet of Vertical Garden Space in my backyard also. We'll be growing our "vertical" plants i.e. pole beans, peas, cucumbers, grapes, etc. in that space.

2) Corn Patch Garden - It is one of our largest garden spaces, located just 6 houses up the street from my home. Besides growing corn, we'll put several other delicious veggies in that area as well. This property also comes with 2 apple trees and a long area of grape vines along the fence.

3) Horse Pasture Garden - We haven't started working in this area yet but this long narrow garden space will be great for a variety of fruits and veggies for us.

4) Naniloa Garden - Our newly acquired garden space as of March 21. It replaced the Heart of Holladay Garden area. On this garden property we now have access to plums, peaches, apricots, apple and grapes. This sunny garden will be home to a variety of plants as well.

5) Garden on the Hill - We'll hand till this area this week and start planting soon. It won't take long to get this garden space ready to go for planting.

6) Waterfall Garden - A few "Square Gardens" will go onto this beautiful property.

During the week of March 23 - March 28, we'll be planting Peas, Lettuce, Radishes, Spinach

Peas - can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked, until May 1, planting them every 2 weeks. They should be planted 1" deep, 1-2" apart, in rows 12-24" apart.

Plant 1/4-1/2" deep, rows 12-18" apart, final spacing of plants 8-12" apart. Plant in 2 week intervals.

Plant seeds 1/2-1" deep, rows 10-12" apart, thin plants to 1-2" apart. Plant in 10 day intervals. Plant again in early September for fall harvest.

Plant seeds 1/2-1" deep, rows 12" apart, thin plants to 3" apart. Plant in 2 week intervals.


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxBeans in the Garden

By Dan Drost

All beans require full sun and fertile, well drained soil for maximum yield. Incorporate plenty of organic matter and a complete fertilizer into the soil before planting. When soils are above 60ºF, space rows 18-24 inches apart and plant
seeds 1 inch deep and 2-3 inches apart in the row. Plant beans every 14-21 days until mid-July for a continuous crop throughout the growing season. Beans require regular watering particularly at flowering, so maintain soils near field capacity.

Water stress will reduce yields and pod quality. Organic mulches help conserve water, supply extra nutrients and reduce the need for weeding. Control insect and
diseases if they occur. Harvest when pods are plump and full but before seeds develop. For dry beans delay harvest until pods are yellow and dry. Use fresh beans immediately for best quality.

Recommended Varieties
There are many good bean varieties for sale in local gardening outlets and through seed catalogs.
Most grow well in Utah. Pod shape, size, and color vary among varieties. Here is a list of some potential varieties and plant types that have performed well in Utah.

Bean Types Suggested Varieties
Bush Beans Blue Lake, Greencrop, Gold Crop, Kinghorn Wax, Royal Burgundy, Slenderette, Strike, Tendercrop

Pole Beans Blue Lake types, Kentucky Wonder, Romano
Dry Beans Kidney, Great Northern, Pinto, Blackbean, Blackeye Pea

How to Grow
Soil: Beans will grow in all soil types provided they are rich in organic matter, well drained, and fertile.

Soil Preparation: Before planting, incorporate 2-3 inches of well composted organic matter and 1 lb of all-purpose fertilizer (16-16-8) per 100 square feet of garden area. Work compost and fertilizer into the soil to a depth of 6 inches.

Plants: Beans are warm weather vegetables that require soil and air temperatures above 60ºF for best germination and plant growth. Start planting beans one week before the last frost-free date for your area. Seedlings will emerge in 7-10 days when planted in soil that has warmed to 65-85ºF.

Planting and Spacing: To plant 100 feet of row, you will need about 3-4 ounces of seed. Extra seed can be stored and used the next year. Plant seeds 1 inch deep, spaced 2-3 inches apart, in rows 18-24 inches wide. No thinning is necessary if plant stands are too thick. Plant bush beans every 14-21 days until mid-July for continuous production throughout the growing season. Bush beans require 50-60 days to
mature depending on variety. Pole beans generally produce pods over a very long time period so one or two plantings are necessary each year. Dry beans planted after July 1 generally will not mature in cooler areas of Utah but will produce mature seeds in the warmer regions of Southern Utah. Mulching the crop during the
summer will reduce soil water loss and increase nutrient availability.

Support: Most bean varieties are bush plants that do not need support during growth. Pole beans are climbing types that flower over long time periods thus yielding more when trellised. Trellises also make harvest easier. Wooden poles or other fencing materials make ideal supports for beans. Plants climb naturally so little additional work is required other than construction of the supports.

Water: Beans require regular watering throughout growth for best production. Soil moisture levels should be maintained near field capacity. Do not overwater as wet soils promote root rot diseases and slow plant growth. Water needs are most critical during flowering and pod sizing. Drought stress during and after flowering will decrease yield due to flower abortion and reduce pod size and increase stringiness.

For dry beans, reduce water applications as the seeds begin to mature. Watering amounts depend on soil type and organic matter content.

Fertilization: Beans do not require additional fertilizer if an all-purpose fertilizer and compost was applied at planting. Additional applications of nitrogen will over-stimulate leaf growth, delay flowering and reduce pod set. Most beans fix some nitrogen from the air via soil bacteria attached to the plant roots.

Mulches and Row Covers: Plastic mulches can help conserve water, provide some frost
protection, and allow earlier planting and maturity. Fabric row covers also protect young plants from frosts. When using plastics and row covers, plant 2-3 weeks before the last frost date for your area. Apply organic mulches such as grass clippings, straw, and shredded newspaper in the heat of summer to help control weeds, improve soil water holding capacity, and increase nutrient availability.

Pest Control
Weeds: Control weeds with regular cultivation, especially when plants are small. Avoid root damage that slows plant growth. Closer row spacing and dense growth help reduce weed pressure.

Insects and Diseases: Most mustard is fast growing and is not susceptible to many production problems. Rotating locations from year to year helps control most diseases.

Insect Identification Control

Mexican Bean Beetle and Leaf Beetle

These beetles are round, copper or tan colored with black spots on their wings. Beetles look like lady beetles. Larvae feed on roots, leaves, and pods doing the most damage when plants are small. Look for yellow eggs under leaves. Dust small plants with appropriate insecticides. Large, flowering plants can withstand feeding pressure with minimal loss in production. Leafhoppers: Small green wedge-shaped sucking insects that feed on leaf juices. Leaves curl and dry out.
Difficult to control as insects are very mobile.

Cutworms and Army Worms

These green, reddish, or black caterpillars grow up
to 2 inches long. Army worms will climb the plants
and feed on leaves and stems. Cutworms do most
of their feeding near the soil surface.
Control weeds and debris in the garden
that provide cover for the worms. Use
appropriate insecticides if populations are

Disease Symptoms Control
Bean Blight: Small water soaked spots that enlarge and form
large lesion on stems, leaves, and pods.
Damp conditions favor this disease. Water
carefully and allow soil to dry between
Root Rot and Damping Off: Seedlings darken, wilt and die. Associated with
cool, wet conditions in the spring.
Use treated seed. Allow soils to dry
before re-watering.

Harvest and Storage
Bush and pole beans are harvested before the pods are fully mature. Pods should be full size, with small seeds, and firm, crisp flesh when picked. Pods are ready for harvest about 7-14 days after flowering. Pick regularly as the plant will flower and mature the pods for 2-3 weeks on bush varieties and for 5-6 weeks on pole types.

Harvest and use immediately for best quality and flavor. Refrigerate if not used
immediately. Dry beans are harvested when the pods are fully mature and they are beginning to dry. Pull up the plants and lay in a row in the garden for 5-7 days. Once plants are dry, remove the pods, shell out the seeds and allow some additional time for the seeds to dry further. For long term storage, keep in sealed containers in a cool dry place.

Expect 75 lbs per 100 feet of row from bush types and 125 lbs from pole types. Plant 5-15 feet of row per person for fresh use and an additional 10-20 feet of row per person for canning or freezing. With dry beans expect about 20-25 lbs of seed per 100 feet of row.

Fresh bean pods are high in fiber, low in calories, and a good source of vitamin C. Dry bean seeds are excellent sources of protein, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B1, fiber, and have very low levels of cholesterol.

Frequently Asked Questions
I sometimes have problems getting my beans to emerge in the garden.

Beans generally germinate and emerge well regardless of garden conditions. If you plant when soils are below 60ºF, germination is greatly reduced. In heavy clay soils, crusting may be a problem which affects emergence and pay attention to the seed planting depth. Finally, older seed or poorly stored seed may not germinate and emerge as

Why are the flowers falling off my plants?

Plants may have been water or heat stressed just prior to or after the flowers open. Hot weather (above 95ºF) and dry conditions cause the plants to shed (abort)
flowers. Keep the soil moist and use organic mulches during the flowering stage to minimize stress.

Why do bean pods get stringy?

Stringy beans are further evidence of heat or water stress. Fibers in
the pods form during stress making them stringy.


Schedule and News for March 16 - 21

We've been working in our Gardens now for almost ONE month now and have made SO much progress. Besides all the progress in the garden, I love all the new friends I am making. It is fantastic!

Here is the schedule for this week. It's slightly different than our regular week. I have a commitment on Tuesday night that I can't get out of and I really want to be here when you're working on all of our gardens, especially in my backyard, so here is the plan for this week. Come as often as you like.

Be sure and check the garden blog often since I'm posting new photos and new info often. You'll see all the progress we've made. Book mark this link and check it often so see what's happening.

Welcome ALL new members! You will love our group! Even if you haven't been here for a while or ever, please come and join us! There's always some work for everyone to do.

Monday, March 16, 4:30 - 6 pm
Tuesday, March 17, 3:30 - 5:30 pm
Thursday, March 19, 5 - 7:30 pm
Friday, March 20, 10 - 12 noon
Saturday, March 21, 2 - 5 pm

If you can, bringing branch cutter and shovels this week, along w/ workgloves. Besides pruning and cutting, we are tilling and working on moving mulch and manure to 4 garden areas this week. Bob is bringing more white food storage/garden buckets this week. Everyone needs at least ONE or more buckets for the garden work. He's getting them for $1 each. A really good deal!! Plan to get one this week if you can if you don't have one already OR you want more.

Give me a heads up on when you will be coming this week so I can start organizing who will be working where. Thanks so much and see you soon!!

Videos to watch - What we'll be doing with some of our garden produce


Get familiar with this website! It's an excellent resource on becoming an expert gardner.



Preparing the Seeds to be Planted indoors...

I have another way that I get the dirt damp to start the seeds, which I think is easier than soaking the dirt. I have a big mixing bowl, I fill the bowl about half full, and then I add a cup to 2 cups of water to it, and mix it up. That way the dirt is moist to start with. Then you fill up the containers, put a seed in each one, and put a thin layer of moist dirt on top. Sometimes I add a little water on top after this if the dirt doesn't seem moist enough. Put on the layer of saran wrap, or plastic cover, put it on the top of the refrigerator till they sprout. The warmth of the refrigerator helps them sprout more quickly. Then take off the cover and put them under the lights.


Getting to know others in our group

One of the big reasons I love organizing groups (especially the garden group) is to make a lot of new friends while I am working. You'll be AMAZED at the things you can learn from another person who is NOT like you. The one thing we all have in common is we love the outdoors and love working in a garden. Other than that, we can all be pretty different! Work next to someone you don't know. Learn their name and at least 5 things that are unique about them.


We have been working in 3 of our 6 gardens now for almost a month and I'm VERY impressed and amazed with the help we have received from children and supportive spouses, who have worked so hard to help us prepare the land before we start to plant.

If you need to bring a young child or baby, please keep them far away from any surrounding dangers but I know kids love to play in the dirt so bring them some hand tools and give them an area where they can play and not be in the way. I love watching children work with us. They will try and imitate everything we do so it's a good thing to have them around. Raking, picking up twigs and branches, filling garbage bags, tilling the ground with a little hand claw, digging in the dirt, etc. are all great things that they will enjoy.

My husband and I have raised four children and I know how important it is to teach them, while they are young, how to ENJOY working hard - especially outside. Soon, all the children will be able to help with more garden chores i.e. picking fruit, pulling weeds, etc.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxABOUT OUR SIX GARDEN PROPERTIES and basic rules to abide by

BASIC RULES: It's one thing to have people come to my home and backyard but now we'll be expanding to several private elegant yards in the area to garden in. I've had a chance to watch most of you work during the past few weeks and I'm VERY grateful and impressed with the high caliber of people we have in our garden group. You have been respectful to me and my property and I know you will be to my friend's and neighbor's property.

These are my neighbors and good friends who I've know for a long time, who have invited us to work on their valuable properties.

Some basic rules to follow so we don't lose their confidence and trust.

1) DON'T ask to go inside their home for ANY reason, i.e. go to the bathroom, etc. Come to my home instead OR go to a local gas station, if necessary.
2) Keep your language clean
3) Bring your garden punchcard for ID. If you don't have one, make sure you get one from me the next time you see me since you will need it.
4) Stay on task and work only as long as we are scheduled to work.
5) Start cleaning up at least 15 minutes before you leave. Make sure you always leave their property neat and clean - after every work session.
6) Stay in the garden area and don't wander around their property without permission.
7) Some of my friends/owners will want to come out and work with us. Make them feel welcome in our group. These are ALL good people with big hearts. Don't ask personal questions that don't pertain to gardening. You can always ask me ANYTHING - just don't bother them.

Basically, just keep doing what you are already doing and you'll be fine!

More about our 6 garden properties and what we call them:

1) SALSA GARDEN - my backyard garden - growing over 80 tomatos along with a variety of peppers. We'll also have plenty of other plants in this garden but it will be known as the SALSA GARDEN. My home is 2836 E Casto Lane (5060 So.) East of Holladay Blvd. on the south side., Holladay 84117.

2) CORN PATCH GARDEN - 2nd property on Casto Lane, about 6 houses EAST of my home. This property is about twice the size of my garden property, with nearly full sun. Mostly corn will be planted here but plenty of other veggies will be planted as well.

3) HEART OF HOLLADAY GARDEN - Large field w/ full sun, surrounded by apartments, in the heart of Holladay. Approx. 20 x 30 ft. , we're part of another group known as the Holladay Community Garden Group. As a perk, we enjoy the Community Herb Garden with them. Located on the SOUTH side of Murray-Holladay Road, at 2217 E 4800 S, (Murray-Holladay Road) 84117, across from Olympus Jr. High School and 2 doors EAST of Holladay Library. Members of our group live in the apartments and work at the Library so they'll keep an eye on this garden for us. We'll grow a variety of plants here which we'll discuss soon.

4) HORSE PASTURE GARDEN - Located one street EAST of my home and about 10 houses south, at the dead end. This is a long narrow pasture that we'll be working in soon. The owner will keep her ponies in another pasture (in the back of her home) so we can have this land for our garden. We'll grow a variety of plants here which we'll discuss soon.

5) GARDEN ON THE HILL - This smaller property is up on a hill, has good sun and belongs to my friends, Jim and Kathy Deans. Their property is up the hill, EAST of horse pasture. We'll have a small assortment of plants in this garden.

6) WATERFALL GARDEN - A beautiful elegant property in my neighborhood with a really cool waterfall fixture! We'll be planting an assortment of above ground, "square box" gardens in this space.

Garden Jobs we need to fill soon - as of March 8th

We need more than one person for each of these jobs:

1) RUNNERS - In the beginning, as we start working on mulitiple garden properties, and since most of our group doesn't know where these gardens are located, I need some adults to guide others to the specific location they will be working at. After a little while, everyone will be assigned a property and they'll know where to go. These are all within a mile of my home - most are right in my neighborhood - less than a few blocks away.

2) SUPERVISORS: We'll start having a supervisor at each location. They still do plenty of work, but if someone has a question about what to do, they go to them. I'll get walkie talkies for "supervisors" to use at each location so we can communicate. If we need more help at one location OR have too much help at another location, we need to communicate better and resolve problems quickly.

3) SKILLED CHAINSAW WORKERS: Those with a chain saw and especially, those who know how to use one. We have plenty of branches and smaller trees that need to come down SOON and be cut up. We have a short season to do this. There is a skill to cutting larger logs and branches. We need you if you have these skills. I'll work with you on YOUR schedule if necessary. Let me know.

4) TILLERS & HEAVY EQUIPMENT OPERATORS: We'll be using shredders and tillers in our garden and need skilled adults, supervising and doing these jobs. Big thanks to Bob Kaggie for bringing his tiller last week and for all those who helped with the tilling in our Salsa Garden.

Work to be done: MARCH 9 thru 14 - We need LOTS of help!

New garden work for Monday, March 9th. We are working outside for a short amount of time. RSVP if you are coming.

Since our HEART OF HOLLADAY GARDEN isn't ready to go yet for another week, we'll begin working on our CORN PATCH GARDEN that I just acquired late Saturday afternoon, just 6 houses up from my home on Casto Lane.

On Monday: 10:30 am - RSVP if you are coming and try to be here at 10:30 am so we can immediately drive up to this new property.

Whether it's raining/snowing, we are going to section off this property in 4' x 4' squares so when our workers arrive on Tuesday, they will immediately be able to start working in their own garden space and not bump into anyone else.

NOTE: I will assign an adult to be in charge of overseeing the work on this property next week. Let me know if you are interested - just for one of the days even.

We would like to have this piece of property looking as good as our garden area in my backyard in about a week. A HUGE thanks to everyone for making our first piece of property look absolutely incredible. Nearly all the wood is stacked neatly and that area is looking GREAT!!

WORK TO DO ON TUESDAY and the rest of the week:

1) Weeding and preparing the soil at the CORN PATCH GARDEN

2) Putting up a NEW Garden Fence in the SALSA GARDEN.

3) Vines taken down on a chain link fence at our CORN PATCH GARDEN,(similar to what we did with the vines at the SALSA GARDEN. You will need branch and vine cutters, pruning sheers, and work gloves, etc.

4) Building the fence at the SALSA GARDEN: The 100 ft. long fence is designed to accomodate VERTICAL plants i.e. cucumbers, green beans, grapes, peas, beans, etc. but not tomatoes since we have another place for them in the garden.
All the materials will be ready to go for Tuesday. NOTE: Paolo will be one of the main supervisors for putting up the fence. Paolo is our Italian Farmer who has worked on and constructed several fences in Italy. He will need a lot of help so bring good work gloves to use with baling wire, etc.

5) Planting Seeds: Before we start planting the seeds on Monday, I need to get them from Julia and Carla, who have a lot of seeds for us to plant. We'll be planting seeds in little containers, to keep inside for a few weeks to get their start. If you want to have a "hands on" experience with this, make sure you come this week.

NOTE: I need a few adults to work the "seed planting" station and help everyone who wants to plant some seeds. We'll teach you first, if you don't know.

Learn about VERTICAL Gardening, since we'll be doing this a lot in our gardens

Even though our Garden Group has LOTS of land to use, we will be expanding our garden even more by growing a LOT of plants UP rather than OUT, so we can use our space even more efficiently. Whether you have a very small space or a large space to work in, take full advantage of this area to get the most out of your garden.




Latest Garden News for Saturday, March 7th

We have plenty to do in our gardens this early in the season. The cooler weather hasn't slowed us down at all. Dress in layers. You'll be excited when you see how much progress we have made in the garden lately! The fence is almost completely down. A new one is going up soon. We start planting seeds next week.

Thanks to everyone for all your efforts so far! If you haven't come yet, come as soon as you are able. You will love getting to know these fun people! The work gets done quickly with many hands making the work light and easy! There is still a lot to do. We need you!

Location: My backyard, 2836 E Casto Lane (5060 So.), Holladay, 84117

What to Bring today: Saturday, March 7

Clean grocery bags - at least 5
Hard Plastic Bucket - keep tools in it
Water bottle
Pruning sheers or branch cutters
Chainsaw if you have one - only for those who know how to use it
Heavy Duty Large Garbage Bags - 30 gallon size, 5 - 10 if you have some to donate to our cause. We may not need them all but bring them anyway.

Saturday, March 7, 2 - 4 pm - Come today!! We're burning stuff in my big pit today plus we'll be bagging a bunch of stuff in large garbage bags. We'll be pruning and cutting down more tree branches also.

2 pm: Watch a demonstration on: How to Test Your Soil in your garden AND Indoor Worm Composting - no smells, very tidy, self contained and takes up small space under my kitchen sink area.

NOTE: Daylight Savings Time starts Sunday March 8th (It'll be light later at night)

Monday, March 9, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm - don't bring children on this day. It looks like it will be fairly cold and we may be working inside planting some seeds. We don't have a lot of room to work in.

Tuesday, March 10, 5 - 7 pm - We'll start working in our other 3 garden properties nearby.

The rest of the weeks schedule will be sent to you soon. The temperatures will be getting warmer after Monday's storm. Yeah!!

Schedule for March 5 - March 10

We have plenty to do in our gardens this early in the season. The cooler weather hasn't slowed us down at all. Dress in layers. You'll be excited when you see how much progress we have made in the garden lately!
Thanks to everyone for all your efforts so far! You are Awesome!! If you haven't come yet, don't worry, just come as soon as you are able. You will love getting to know these fun people! The work gets done quickly since many hands make light work easy! There is a lot to do. We need you!

Location: My home, 2836 E Casto Lane (5060 So.), Holladay, 84117

Thursday, March 5, 4 - 6 pm
Friday, March 6, 9 - 11 am
Saturday, March 7, 2 - 4 pm
NOTE: Daylight Savings Time starts Sunday March 8th (It'll be light later at night)
Monday, March 9, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Tuesday, March 10, 5 - 7 pm

We are Starting our Vegetable Seeds Indoors during this week!

Larry Leishman (801-969-0610)

On your internet browser (Yahoo, Google, etc), type in:
Starting vegetable seeds indoors
USU extension recommended vegetable varieties for Utah
Master gardener manual
Note: .com websites often have good information, but they also want to sell you something.

Helpful hints:

1. Don’t start your seeds too early. They will outgrow the pot and be long and spindly and start to die. Average last day of frost in Salt Lake is May 15th. Note the word “average.” Take May 15th, notice on the seed packet how long until germination (10 days, 18 days, etc.) Add 6 more weeks for growth indoors. For example: Celebrity tomato seeds take 14-18 days to germinate (although, under ideal conditions, my seeds have germinated in 5-7 days). Add 6 more weeks for plant growth (the stem of the tomato plant should be about the size of a pencil when transplanting) and you have about 8 weeks. Count 8 weeks back from May 15th and then plant the seeds.

2. Use seeds from a reputable seed company packaged for this year.

3. Use only new starter seed sterilized mix to put into your starter pots. Throw last year’s soil mix in the garden.

4. Be sure you have good drainage in the containers you use.

5. After putting the soil in the small containers, soak the container in a large pan (like a tub or cookie sheet) overnight.

6. Be sure to plant vegetable varieties that are recommended for our area.

7. Plant 1 or 2 seeds per container and don’t plant them too deep. Follow the directions exactly on the package.

8. Do NOT put fertilizer on the soil.

9. Be sure to have plant name tags in each container. Popsicle sticks work well or plastic tags. Put name (tomato) and variety (Celebrity) by each one. Use a “Sharpie” marker on plastic.

10. Place plastic wrap over the containers until the seed sprouts, then remove the wrap completely.

11. Make sure the soil stays moist until the seed germinates. Spray the soil with a clean water spray bottle until the plants are growing well. After that, carefully water with a soft stream of water. NEVER let your plants dry out. They will seldom recover from the shock.

12. If you have a water softener, get your water from a source that does not go through the water softener, as there is always a salt residue that could hurt the plant.

13. If using fluorescent lights, keep the lights on 24 hours a day and within 2 inches from the pots, until the seeds germinate.

14. After the plants start to grow well, keep the fluorescent lights on about 18 hours a day (leaving 6 hours for darkness). A timer works well.

15. About 2 weeks before transplanting, you will want to start hardening them off by putting them outside for 2-3 hours a day in full sun and then bringing them back in. Then put them in sun for 2-3 hours and then in the shade for a few more hours and them bring them back in. By the second week you can leave them out all day and night provided it doesn't freeze. Your goal for the last 2 weeks is the get the plants ready to be transplanted out into the garden without shocking them with a sudden move. They need to get used to being outside, and you don't want them to sunburn, windburn, or freeze.

16. Become an expert yourself. Become self reliant. The internet is an excellent tool to learn all you can about how to start your own seeds and have a successful garden. It doesn’t take a lot of time.

The KSL Greenhouse is on every Saturday from 8-11 a.m. with USU Horticulturist Larry Sagers. If you aren’t able to listen to the program, you can go on the KSL website under “podcasts” and then “KSL Greenhouse” and download any of the recent programs you want to year on your Ipod or MP3 player.


xxxxxxxxxxxxQuestion: Do I need to prune my trees this spring?

This answer is from the USU Extention Ctr. http://extension.usu.edu/htm/faq/faq_q=100

There are many reasons a tree or shrub may need to be pruned. For ornamental and shade trees:

* Remember that the tree limbs and branches will stay at the same height for the entire life of the tree. The growing point for the tree is located in the top terminal bud, and the rest of the tree will only grow in circumference. If the branch is four feet off the ground today, it will be four feet off the ground in 20 years.
* You can safely prune most trees through the end of May. Most pruning is done before the tree leaves out because it is easier to see where to prune and easier to get into the tree. I recommend pruning in March and early April.
* Do very little pruning on ornamental trees. Prune wood that is dead, diseased or injured and branches that cross (rub) or grow back into the center of the tree or are out of place. Be sure to keep the natural shape of the tree intact.

Fruit trees are normally trained and pruned to increase their productivity and keep their size under control. It is best to prune them on an annual basis, starting the first year they are planted. Too many people wait until the tree is five or ten years old before they consider pruning. Begin training a fruit tree the first year it is planted.

* Don’t let firsttime pruning intimidate you. Decide for yourself how you want the tree to look in five, 10 or even 20 years, then start to shape it as you prune. The main objective of pruning fruit trees is to keep the tree open, allowing light to penetrate into the center of the tree.
* New fruit trees normally need four to six branches to form the lower scaffolding. In orchards, many trees are trained with a central leader, or main trunk, with many scaffolding layers. For backyard orchardists with only a few trees it’s best to prune fruit trees as an open vase. An open vase tree has only one scaffolding layer and the center of the tree remains open.
* To create this shape keep five or so branches that are kept should be three to five feet off the ground, and spaced evenly around the tree. This is the framework for the open vase. As these branches grow they become the major wood which produces the fruit. Picture the tree as a giant solar collector, and space the branches around the tree to optimize the amount of sun it can collect.
* Apple, pear and cherry trees naturally try to grow a central leader, or a main trunk system. Removing the leader to create an open vase makes the tree take on an unnatural shape. The branches may each try to become the main trunk and grow upright. Discourage this by training branches to grow in a horizontal direction by either tying them down with string, placing weights out on the ends of the branches or placing a spacer in the fork to force a wider angle.
* Most spacers are made with a piece of 1 x 1 wood with finishing nails placed in both ends to keep it steady. Be careful whenever bending and forcing a branch down. Do this after the sap starts to flow in the tree so the wood is pliable. Begin forming only young wood branches. Do not try to bend any wood more than a year or two old. This is another reason it’s important to begin training a tree when it is young and the tree is still pliable enough to bend.
* Leave spacers in the tree for a year or two, then remove them or place them in another part of the tree. Trained wood will remain that way for the rest of the tree’s life.

Schedule for March 1 through March 7

Tuesday, March 3, 4 - 6 pm AND 6 - 8 pm (as needed). Come to my home on Casto
Saturday, March 7, 2 - 4 pm, Come to my home on Casto

The bulk of our garden work will happen early in the week since the second half of the week is looking wetter, a little colder and rainier from Wed. thru Sat. I'll watch the weather and keep you posted on our Garden schedule.

If you can come Tuesday, Please come!
Come to MY HOME - 2836 E Casto Lane, 84117, Holladay

Here's the plan for Tuesday...
(We'll finish up on Saturday what didn't get done on Tuesday)

Gathering Many Large Juice Containers from my basement -
I need at least 15 people to form an assembly line to help me get several gallon milk and juice containers filled with water out of my basement. We will be using them on all of the garden properties as well as a second border on our Big Holladay property. Also, start saving your empty gallon size plastic milk containers and bring them with you. When planting, we cut off the tops and they serve as a little greenhouse for the plants.

Tilling - If you have a tiller, bring it on Tuesday. We plan to start tilling the ground at my home and if we have enough help, we'll start to till on our second property, to loosen the dirt.

Fire in my Pit - We need to burn many of the smaller vines, twigs, branches, etc. BEFORE they get wet later in the week AND so rats and other rodents don't start making a home in them. They are all stacked up on the side of my home and ready to be loaded to the fire pit and burned. I'll work on this until 8 pm if necessary. It burns pretty fast and needs to be done soon.

Chainsaw work - If you have a Chainsaw and can help us cut wood, you need you! Come ANYTIME on Monday or Tuesday. Just let me know when you are coming. We especially need pieces of wood cut and removed that are in our garden. We can't till the ground and mark the garden until these are moved.

Garden Squares sectioned off. Before we till the land, everyone will get a "sectioned off" square to work in. Make sure your square is prepared and ready to go. We'll pass off each square before tilling. Bring something to sit or kneel on, and bring HAND tools - a hand claw and hand shovel are the most useful. Always bring work gloves. I'll have some extra hand tools if you don't have any.

If we get all of this done or have more help than we need at my home, we'll send some people down to work on our 2nd property in Holladay - the large piece of land.