Fall Gardening Tips and Tricks for Utah

Kilgore Landscape Center | Fall Gardening

As summer comes to an end and autumn begins, it's time to shift gardening focus from the scorching sun to the gentle, cooler days of fall. Fall gardening in Utah offers a unique set of challenges and opportunities, thanks to the state's diverse climate and landscape. To help you make the most of this season, Kilgore Landscaping Center gives you their fall gardening tips and tricks and offers a range of garden bed landscaping products. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a novice, discover valuable insights and practical advice for a thriving fall garden.

Understanding Utah's Climate Zones

Before we go into specific gardening tips, it's important to understand Utah's diverse climate zones. Utah is known for its varying climate conditions, influenced by its unique geography and elevation. The state can be broadly divided into three primary climate zones: Northern, Central, and Southern Utah.

  1. Northern Utah: Northern Utah experiences cooler temperatures and more extended periods of frost compared to other regions. Cities like Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Logan fall into this zone. Gardeners should be mindful of the shorter growing season and select cold-hardy plants that can thrive in the cooler temperatures and occasional late frosts. Additionally, consider investing in protective measures like garden cloths and frost blankets to safeguard your plants from the region's unpredictable weather.

  1. Central Utah: This region, which includes areas like Provo and Nephi, has milder winters and warmer summers than Northern Utah. Central Utah's milder winters offer gardeners a broader range of plant options compared to Northern Utah. However, it's essential to recognize that microclimates can vary within this region. For instance, areas closer to mountain ranges might experience cooler temperatures and more frost pockets, requiring specific plant choices and care strategies. Understanding these microclimates will help you tailor your garden for optimal results.

  1. Southern Utah: Cities like St. George and Moab in Southern Utah enjoy a semi-arid climate with mild winters and hot summers. Southern Utah's semi-arid climate presents unique gardening opportunities. Gardeners in cities like St. George and Moab can explore drought-tolerant landscaping with native plants like sagebrush, yucca, and desert marigolds. This region's mild winters also make it suitable for cultivating citrus trees and other subtropical plants, adding a touch of exotic beauty to your garden.

Understanding your specific climate zone is crucial for successful fall gardening since it directly impacts the types of plants you can grow and the timing of various gardening tasks.

  1. Plant Cool-Season Vegetables

Fall in Utah provides an excellent opportunity to grow a variety of cool-season vegetables as long as you have the correct garden bed landscaping products. These crops thrive in cooler temperatures and can withstand light frosts. Some popular cool-season vegetables to consider planting include:

- Lettuce: Varieties like Romaine and Butterhead are excellent choices for fall salads.

- Spinach: Nutrient-rich spinach is a cool-season favorite that can be harvested multiple times.

- Kale: This hardy green not only adds visual appeal to your garden but also offers great nutritional value.

- Carrots: Plant carrots in late summer to enjoy sweet and crisp roots in the fall.

- Broccoli: Fall is an ideal time to grow broccoli, as it matures in cooler temperatures.

- Cauliflower: Similar to broccoli, cauliflower thrives in cooler weather and can be a delightful addition to your fall garden.

- Radishes: Radishes are a quick-growing crop that can be harvested in as little as 30 days. 

- Pumpkins and Squash: If you planted pumpkins or squash in the summer, they should be ready for harvest in the fall. 

Timing is crucial in fall gardening. Plant cool-season annuals in late summer to early fall and spring-flowering bulbs in late September or early October. Perennials and shrubs can be planted throughout the fall, provided the soil is workable. Be mindful of your local frost dates, and consider using row covers or cloths to protect your crops when frost threatens.

  1. Extend the Growing Season with Row Covers

Utah's fall weather can be unpredictable, with sudden temperature drops and unexpected frosts. To extend your growing season and protect your plants from frost, consider using row covers. Row covers are garden bed landscaping products that are lightweight, breathable fabrics that can be draped over your garden beds or individual plants.

Here's how to effectively use row covers in your fall garden:

- Select the Right Fabric: Row covers come in various thicknesses. For fall gardening in Utah, opt for a medium-weight fabric that provides some insulation without completely blocking sunlight.

- Secure the Edges: Anchor the row cover securely to the ground using garden staples or heavy objects like bricks. Make sure there are no gaps where cold air can seep in.

- Ventilation: During sunny days, you can lift or remove the row cover to allow for ventilation and prevent overheating. Remember to cover your plants again in the evening to trap warmth.

Row covers are a cost-effective and practical solution to protect your plants from frost and extend your growing season well into the fall.

  1. Fall is not just a season for planting and maintaining. It's also an ideal time to revamp and enhance your garden space with the use of garden bed landscaping products.

- Garden Borders and Edging: Installing decorative garden borders or edging materials can instantly elevate the appearance of your garden. 

- Retaining Walls: If you have sloped terrain in your garden, consider adding retaining walls to create terraced areas.

- Pathways and Stepping Stones: Enhance accessibility and aesthetics by incorporating pathways or stepping stones like natural stone, brick, or concrete pavers.

- Decorative Rocks and Gravel: Introduce decorative rocks and gravel to your garden beds for visual appeal, weed control, and moisture retention.

- Raised Beds and Planter Boxes: Fall is an excellent time to install raised garden beds or planter boxes. These structures provide better control over soil quality and drainage while adding depth and dimension to your garden.

  1. Plant Spring-Blooming Bulbs

For a burst of color in your spring garden, plant spring-blooming bulbs in the fall. Bulbs like tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths can be planted in Utah gardens during the fall months. Here's how to do it:

- Choose High-Quality Bulbs: Select bulbs that are firm and free from mold or damage. High-quality bulbs will yield better results.

- Plant at the Right Depth: Follow the planting depth recommendations for each type of bulb. Generally, bulbs should be planted at a depth that is three times their diameter.

- Provide Well-Draining Soil: Bulbs can rot in soggy soil, so make sure the planting area has good drainage. Kilgore Landscaping offers a range of garden bed landscaping products including raised beds to improve drainage.

- Planting Technique: Dig a hole for each bulb or use a bulb planter tool. Place the bulb with the pointed end facing upward and cover it with soil. Water thoroughly to settle the soil and provide moisture to the bulb.


Fall gardening in Utah offers a unique and beautiful experience, with the vibrant colors of autumn serving as a beautiful backdrop. By understanding your region's climate, choosing the right plants, and following essential planting and maintenance tips, you can create a stunning and delicious fall garden. Kilgore Landscaping Center is happy to answer your questions and show you which products are right for your garden.