Q. When is a good time to plant a vegetable garden in Utah?
A. No matter where you live you need to time your planting according to two things:
1. You need to learn the Average Last Frost Date (ALFD) in the Spring for your growing area, and
2. You need to determine the frost tolerance (hardiness) of the plants you’re thinking of growing.
You then plant according to the following schedule (there’s an excellent schedule of vegetables with this and much more information all done for you at the FREE gardening group – MittleiderMethodGardening@yahoogroups.com in the Files section):
Hardy plants – – – – – – 3-4 weeks before the ALFD
Semi-hardy plants – – – 2 weeks + or – before the ALFD
Frost sensitive plants – On the ALFD
Frost intolerant plants -2 weeks AFTER the ALFD
Q. When do we in the cold and frozen north here (Utah) start our seedlings? I
have a greenhouse at the school I can use until I can get my hubby to
honeydew my own greenhouse project. I want to plant cabbages and broccoli
and brussel sprouts as well as the warmer weather tomatoes and peppers and
A. When to start seedlings is an important question – no matter where you live, and the answer is always the same – “When they won’t freeze!” So when is that? It depends on the plant and your weather. First find out the average
last frost date in your local growing micro-climate. The Garden Wizard and
Garden Master CD’s do a good job of giving you that for over 3,000 places
in the United States. Others will have to ask your local government Ag.
Next, determine the frost tolerance of the plant you’re growing, to know
when to transplant into the garden. There are 4 levels of frost tolerance –
and I quote from the Mittleider Gardening Course:
1. Hardy plants tolerate frost and cold and can be planted 3 to 6 weeks
before the average date of last frost.
2. Moderately-hardy plants handle a certain amount of cold. Plant these
2-3 weeks before the average date of last frost.
3. Cold- and frost-sensitive plants don’t like cold or frost. Plant them
on the average day of last frost and protect them against late frost.
4. Frost-intolerant plants will not survive any frost and must be
planted 2-3 weeks after the average day of last frost.
With dozens of plant possibilities, I can’t tell you here what each plant’s
frost tolerance is, but again the Garden Wizard and the Garden Master CD’s
give you all of that in the Review Plants section of the Garden Designer.
And finally, you need to know how long your plant needs to be in the
greenhouse before being transplanted, in order to get back to the date on
which you plant in the greenhouse. And again I refer you to the Garden
Wizard and Garden Master CD’s as the best place to find that information.
Remove the uncertainty and confusion in this very important step by looking
in the Preview Plants section of the Garden Designer. You will learn the
number of days required from planting seeds to transplanting in the garden,
for all the common garden vegetables.
Q. I have celery transplants which I have grown, and need to know when they should be put out. Can they go out with the cool season crops, which I have already transplanted, or should I wait until our frost date is past?
A. The Garden Master and Garden Wizard CD’s both have a section called Preview Plants in the Garden Designer. This is a terrific resource for learning when to plant almost all common vegetables. Some of you may even have one or the other of these CD’s and perhaps haven’t noticed this large illustrated database of helpful information.
I highly recommend everyone consider owning one of these. The Garden Wizard has the complete Garden Designer Software, and is less than $10. When added to the Mittleider Gardening Library, you have a very valuable and comprehensive library of vegetable production knowledge that many Agriculture Universities and County Extension Agents around the USA, as well as in other countries, own and use. Both are available in The Store.
In Preview Plants, there are 5 categories for every plant, including Planting, Fertilizing, Watering, Weeding, and Other Notes. Here is a part of what the Garden Designer says in Preview Plants for Celery – Planting: “Celery is a cool-season plant that is frost tolerant. Transplant seedlings 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost of spring, 2 rows per bed, 6″ apart”.