Step into gardening season with these preparation and pest control tips – St George News


Consider these USU Extension tips for preparing and managing your garden, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of USU Extension, St. George News

CHARACTERISTIC – We are officially entering gardening season!

Gardening image courtesy of Utah State University Extension, St. George News

Consider these tips to help you prepare. Included are links from the Utah State University Extension Gardeners Almanac.

  • Plant cool-season vegetable seeds (peas, lettuce, radishes) as soon as the garden soil is passable.
  • Consider planting peas in the garden every 2-3 weeks (until early May) to prolong the harvest.
  • If this did not happen in the fall, add organic material in the vegetable garden to help build and improve the soil.
  • To avoid compacted soil by not plowing when the garden soil is wet or saturated.
  • Consider home composting or vermiculture (composting with worms).
  • If you are storing bulbs, check their condition to make sure they are firm and remove any that are soft or rotten.
  • If locally available, plant bare root trees and shrubs, and keep exposed roots moist until planting.
  • Remove the protective trunk wrap and burlap from trees in the spring after the snow has melted.
  • Fertilize spring-flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, fritillaries and crocuses.
  • Plant cold hardy pansies and primroses for splashes of color.
  • Plum berries and fruit trees such as applespears, peachescherries, plums and apricots.
  • Attend a USU Extension sponsored pruning demonstration near you. Check with your local county extension office for more information.
  • To apply horticultural oils at bud break (delayed dormancy) in fruit trees to control overwintering insect pests.
  • Apply pre-emergence herbicides from late March to mid-April to control annual weeds such as crabgrass and spurge in your lawn.
  • Sharpen mower blades to prepare for the season. Set the height of the mower to 2 1/2 to 3 inches and mow at that height for the summer.
  • Consider including a native fruiting species in the landscape, such as Virginia cherry, elderberry, serviceberry Where currant.

Pests and problems:

  • Download the Utah Home Orchard Pest Management Guide for advice and information.
  • Be aware of damping offa fungal disease that affects new seedlings.
  • Take bud control measures to anthracnose and aspen leaf spot. Both can become prevalent during cool, wet springs.
  • Control rust mites in apple and pear trees after the leaves have emerged and spread 1/2 inch.
  • Apply dormant oil for pears when leaf buds swell. This suffocates the eggs of the pear psylla laid on buds by overwintering adults.
  • Consider taking soil samples to determine fertilizer requirements.
  • Click here to subscribe to Utah Pests IPM Advisories for timely advice on controlling pests in your yard and garden.
  • Consider taking a online gardening course. Classes cover everything from container vegetable gardening and creating the perfect soil, to tree planting and pest control. The courses are aimed at both novice and professional gardeners.

Many USU Extension Master Gardener courses will be held virtually or as a combination of virtual and in-person classes this year. For more information on in-state classes, visit This site.

You will find more information on gardening in line. You will find guides to growing fruits, vegetables and herbs, information on the maintenance of soil, lawn, yard, trees, shrubs and flowers. Plus, monthly tips, gardening basics, event info, classes and more.

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