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Utah is a diverse state with several ecosystems, climates and biomes. The three main biomes in the state include Wetlands to the north, Forests in north-central Utah, and various types of Desert biomes to the south. Although this is a very general explanation of Utah’s biomes, it covers some basic aspects of Utah’s climate as well.

Whether you live in Logan or St. George, you’ll definitely experience less rainfall than, say, the Pacific Northwest. To get an idea of annual rainfall and other climate statistics throughout the state, usclimatedata.com is a good resource. Once you have a loose idea of your area’s annual precipitation versus sunshine, you can start to understand what to expect when it comes time to plant your garden.

Gardens can exist for several reasons: both to please the eye or the stomach. Farm-to-table trends have become more popular, so more people want to start their gardens. Unfortunately, planting a garden is only simple if you know what types of plants will flourish in your given climate conditions and soil type. Here is a general description of the types of plants and vegetables that flourish in various regions throughout Utah.

Northern Utah

Home to some wetlands and many mountainous regions, northern Utah has short and mild summers along with long and cold winters. When considering what to plant in your garden that’s fit for your table, stick with basics that don’t demand much sunlight and will last under the hardy conditions:

  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes (smaller varieties such as Early Girl, Jasper, or Celebrity)
  • Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow squash

When choosing plants for landscaping, native ferns and orchids offer a beautiful addition to your garden. Otherwise, basic perennials should do the trick, although be sure not to plant too early. As for when to plant, The Old Farmer’s Almanac is an excellent resource for planting times and other agricultural knowledge.

Central Utah

Home to most of Utah’s population, central Utah has mountains, valleys and forests. Soil in this area isn’t usually ideal, so it’s good to supplement your garden plot with some well-balanced soil. All of the below vegetables can flourish when planted at the correct time and not overwatered:

  • Radishes
  • Tomatoes (previously mentioned varieties and Roma work best)
  • Zucchini
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce

The above vegetables will require different things, such as plenty of water for corn. If you know what to expect and what to provide your plants, there’s nothing stopping you from an ample harvest this fall. Consulting a horticultural expert can greatly increase your chances for success. As for landscaping your yard, it can be easy with the help of some quaking aspen, blue spruce, gamble oak and currant bushes or a chokecherry tree. Cottonwoods are also common, but typically grow to a larger size.

Southern Utah

This is a large area of the state as it includes south-central, southwest and southeast parts of the state. However, the following vegetables should be able to grow and flourish in the area with proper care and watering:

  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Peppers
  • Radishes

As for what to plant around your yard for curb appeal, cactus is basic and doesn’t demand much attention. Or, you could try something new like Desert Sand Verbena. If it’s more shade you’re looking to add to your garden, try a Mesquite or Ironwood tree. Fruit and landscaping trees vary immensely in where they flourish, so be sure and do some research before planting.

Get ready for spring

Regardless of where you live in Utah, it’s always good to brush up on your horticultural knowledge while adding some new plants to your plot. If you plan to plant for looks or for food this spring, come by the Red Butte Garden 38th Annual Spring Plant Sale that’s open to the public Saturday, May 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Located in the Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, this free admission event offers an impressive selection of plants (both ornamental and edible) along with plenty of qualified Garden staff and volunteers to answer your planting and gardening questions.

For tips until then including water-wise practices and plant profiles, visit www.redbuttegarden.org today.