Spring is springing, and March is the perfect time of the year to garden. Marriott-Slaterville was proudly designed in 1999 as Utah’s Open Space City. Since that time, our community has encouraged gardening, fostered conservation, and promoted sustainable development. Each summer, the Marriott-Slaterville Garden Market opens with local vendors who bring their garden surplus to share with the community. So, put on your gloves and get out your spade to plant your garden space.
Also, consider that gardening is an excellent way to improve mental and physical well-being. With all the stresses and conflict in our daily lives, gardening is an excellent activity for self-care. Here are some ways that gardening can help our well-being:
- Burns Calories: Gardening is considered moderate- to high-intensity exercise. You can burn up to 330 calories during a one-hour session of gardening or yard work.
- Lower Blood Pressure: Just 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity a few times a week can help control high blood pressure. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends gardening on its list for addressing high blood pressure.
- Immune System: Outdoor sunshine helps you soak up Vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium to keep bones strong and the immune system healthy.
- Happiness: Research involving active participation with nature and gardening provides psychological benefits such as lower stress, increased self-esteem, and improved social interaction.
Even if you have never gardened before, it is fun to learn. March is a great time to prepare.
- Prune trees and shrubs as needed.
- Trim perennials.
- Clean-up your yard as the soil thaws.
- When it warms enough, prepare an area for a garden.
- When planting, note soil quality, plant size, and light.
- This month, plant your early cold-loving vegetables, like peas, carrots, radishes, and onions. Inside your home, you can start growing seed, like tomatoes and peppers, to transplant in May. When May arrives, it is usually the best time to plant corn, squash, beets, other vegetables, and flowers.
Gardening is fun! Bring your harvest to the Marriott-Slaterville Garden Market this summer to sell and share with the community.
The Ten Basics of Square Foot Gardening
These days, there is a lot of interest in square-foot gardening. These gardens fit neatly in the back yard or in other small areas. Create a square-foot garden with the following steps:
- Layout. Square-foot gardens are arranged in squares rather than rows. The layout is typically 4’ X 4’ planting boxes.
- Boxes: Build elevated planting boxes and fill them with a fresh new soil mix.
- Aisles: Space the boxes around three feet apart, so that there are walking aisles to access the boxes.
- Soil Mix: Fill boxes with a special soil mix you can find at your local nursery or create your own with 1/3 blended compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 coarse vermiculite.
- Grid: Make a permanent square-foot grid across the top of each planting box.
- Care: Avoid walking on your growing soil. Tend your garden from the aisles.
- Select: Plant a different flower, vegetable, or herb crop in each square foot, using 1, 4, 9, or 16 plants per square foot.
- Planting: Plant a pinch (two or three seeds) per hole. Plant transplants in depressed hole filled with water.
- Water: Water by hand or from sprinkler as needed.
- Harvest: Harvest as the garden ripens over the summer. Add compost and replant it with a new or different crop the next gardening season.
General Burning Regulations
The State of Utah issues burn permits; Weber Fire District no longer issues them. Burn permits are to be obtained from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. Here is the link to their website: https://air.utah.gov/OpenBurning/form/index.php.
Permits may be issued between March 30 and May 30 and between September 15 and October 30. You cannot obtain a burn permit until the burn window begins. Yard burning requires a valid burn permit issued during the open burn window. The burning of trash, rubbish, tires, hazardous material, or oil products is not allowed. Agriculture burning of ditches, fence lines, and stubble is allowed at other times, so contact Weber Fire District at 801-782-3580, extension 206. For questions, contact the Utah Division of Air Quality at 801-536-4000 or Weber Fire District.