Whether you’ll plant your first garden this spring or you’re a seasoned green thumb, here are expert tips from client Molly Dockter, who says now is the time to get started!
- Prep your soil. Add amendments like compost and mulch. You can get compost from the landfill. Get small pieces, less than 2.5”. Your local nursery will have bulk products. Or compost your own: get a bin or tumbler (which is easier), and add a balance of green (nitrogen, home waste) to brown waste (carbon, dead plants, shredded newspaper, etc.); avoid bread or meat.
- Check irrigation (sprinkler) system. Check for breaks, and call a specialist if you find any. Molly suggests converting from hose to drip timer, which is simple and cost-effective for small gardens.
- Weed! Start now while they’re small and before dandelions seed. Add compost and mulch, which reduce weed pressure.
“Prep now. You’ll have way less to do later. If it sounds daunting, call a landscaper ASAP. They get so busy,” says Molly. She says to prune now, too.
For the hot, dry climate in Salt Lake, Molly recommends native, low-water plants. Her favorites are sage, Wasatch Penstemon, and ornamental grasses such as Karl Foerster.
Herbs are also excellent low-maintenance, great-smelling plants. Molly says basils come in different, beautiful colors and varieties like cinnamon and Thai. She also recommends sage, thyme, oregano, and rosemary—all pretty and edible! Plus they attract bees and other beneficial insects. In fact, Molly says these herbs are the simplest, most beneficial additions to your garden.
Molly says the Conservation Garden Park is a great resource for Utahns. Molly runs market garden operations for Pomona and Produce. Her specialty is veggies and microgreens. You can follow her on Instagram at @pomona_produce.