Growing your own vegetables has many benefits. It is healthier than store-bought and fresher. 

Because of the freshness, it beats the flavor of store-bought hands down. Plus you’ll know exactly what is (or isn’t) put on your food while it’s growing.

The best time of year to plant vegetables in Utah varies depending on where your garden is located. The hardiness zones are divided according to the average coolest temperatures in winter. Knowing which plant hardiness zone you’re in will help you succeed more often when gardening in Utah. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

When to Plant Cool Season Vegetables

Cool-season vegetables that can handle some degrees of frost are called cold hardy and semi-hardy. There are two growing seasons for these yummy veggies.

If you live in Salt Lake City, your hardiness zone is 5. For other areas, you will need to check your hardiness zone for the exact planting dates for your garden.

The first time to put cold-hardy vegetables in the ground will likely be between mid-March and May 1. The second planting season will be from July to mid-August. You can follow with the semi-hardy two or three weeks later.

Cold hardy options for your Utah garden include spinach, green onion, leeks, onion, cabbage, chard, broccoli, kohlrabi, turnip, Brussel sprout, spinach, parsnips, kale, radishes, arugula, collard greens, rhubarb, mustard greens, and turnips.

Semi-hardy (also called half-hardy) options are rutabaga, beets, celery, swiss chard, lettuce, carrot, radicchio, peas, potato, and cauliflower.

When to Plant Warm Season Vegetables

Vegetables that do well in warmer weather fall into one of two groups: tender or very tender.  You can start putting tender vegetables in the ground between May 1 and late May to early June, depending on your zone. You can follow with very tender two or three weeks later.

Tender vegetable options to consider are tomato, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, and beans.  

Very tender vegetables are tomato, eggplant, okra, cucumber, muskmelon, pumpkin, watermelon, cantaloupe, bush beans, winter squash, lima beans, sweet potato, and peppers.

Add Time for Sowing from Seed

Once you have decided which types of vegetables you want to plant, you need to research whether they are sown directly in the ground or need to be started from seed. If your choices require starting from seed, you’ll need to add in the time prior to the date they need to go into the ground. Factor in the time for obtaining the seeds, germination, and growth into seedlings.

Many local nurseries sell seedlings. Buying seedlings is a good option when you’re behind schedule for getting particular veggies in the ground.

Shop local nurseries

Consider a locally owned nursery when shopping for plants. They are likely to have starts and seedlings that have proven winners in SLC’s dry mountain climate. Don’t be afraid to ask the local staff for advice, they will likely love sharing their tips to help make your vegetable garden a success.  Here are a few of our local faves:

Have Fun Gardening in Utah

The most important part of gardening in Utah is remembering to have fun learning about your garden’s individual traits. Soil conditions, weather, watering, and local wildlife/pests may all play a part in your gardening journey.

It may take a season or two to really nail down the best way to grow tomatoes (or your favorite veggies) in your garden. While learning, take time to enjoy being outside and watching your plants thrive. Before you know it, you’ll be hauling in the bounty at harvest time.

Contact me if you want to buy a house with the perfect yard to grow the garden of your dreams! I’m here to help with all your real estate needs.