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Is it too late to start gardening?

Is it too late to start gardening?



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SALT LAKE CITY -- According to some gardeners, Utah's wet weather made this spring an awful one for planting. It's hard to work the soil when it is saturated.

Tina Cerling with Western Gardens said, "People didn't want to plant because it was pouring. By the time (there) was nice weather, it was pretty much hot."

Cerling said a lot of would-be gardeners are trying to make up for lost time.

Planting
Not too late for fall crops of ...
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Parsnips
  • Cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • Spinach

"They came in to this store two or three weeks ago and asked, ‘Where are your broccoli starts?' We had to say, ‘(With) broccoli, you can't harvest it when it's hot. It's just going to go to seed and be bitter.'"

If you're hoping to harvest something in the summer, it's not only too late to plant broccoli, but melons, peas and onions, too. But, there are some plants that could grow well, even if you just plant them now.

For instance, summer squash should be just fine. You may be able to grow cucumbers. Also, certain short-season tomatoes should be fine to plant, but you will need a much bigger starter plant than normal.

"(You need) something from a 1-gallon or 6-inch pot, instead of the itty-bitty (cardboard) things," Cerling said.

But she said at this point, it's probably a better idea to start planting crops you can harvest in the fall, like broccoli, carrots and beets.

"An awful lot of those cold weather crops take more heat to germinate than they do to grow," Cerling said. "So, it's perfect to start them now, or in a couple of weeks put them in the ground when they're little plants. Then by October or November, you can harvest them."

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

Paul Nelson

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