Gardening season in full swing along the Wasatch Front

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The sights and sounds of gardening season are here. From perennials to vegetables, Mother's Day weekend in the Salt Lake Valley is the time to dig it.

"It's the process. It's relaxing. It's nice to be outside," gardner Kipp Lee said.

The average "last freeze day" of the year usually falls around this time, but to get started, the Western Garden Center recommends you follow a few basic tips.

**General Turf Watering Schedule**
Startup April 30Once every 6 days
MayOnce every 4 days
JuneOnce every 3 days
JulyOnce every 2-3 days
AugustOnce every 3 days
SeptemberOnce every 6-7 days
October 1 to shutdownOnce every 10 days

The first is planning. Know what you want, where you want it and how much time you're willing to spend taking care of it. "Go around and see a garden that you think that you like and talk to that person. Almost everybody who has a garden would be just thrilled," said Tina Cerling, with Western Garden Center. Then prep the soil. Mix in some quality compost and, if necessary, add products that will break up the clay. "Look at the soil you have. Usually ours is pretty ‘clayey' around here, or some of it's sandy," Cerling said.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, watch the weather. Rain, sun or snow, all will dictate how you plan, plant and maintain your garden. "There are a number of things that are too tender to be frozen," Cerling said.

Experts say getting started is easy and the rewards make it all worth it.

**Watering Tips:** - Water to the depth of plant roots; 6-9" for lawns and groundcovers, 12-18" for trees. - Water shrubs one-third longer than your lawn. Shrubs have deeper roots. It takes longer for water to reach the deeper roots. - Shrubs use water more slowly than lawns, so water them one-third as often.
"I've really gotten into organic gardening. I'm growing a lot of my own food this year," Lee said. Gardner Jennifer Hein told us, "I don't have anything real special here, but I did it."

This is also the time of year when people will over water their lawns and plants. See the table to the right for information on how to water correctly.


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Whit Johnson


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