Gardening in Utah can be very challenging. We love the color and visual interest that comes from a beautiful flower garden, but with some plants, we are in for a difficult battle. The alkaline soil, the late frosts, cold winters, hot summers, minimal water, clay soils, and a whole host of other issues make plant selection very important. Working with you local nursery is always the best bet to select the plants that will grow well in your area. Here are a few that have a pretty good track record in Utah:
Backflow preventers are an important component to your backyard sprinkling system. Without these, municipality drinking water would become contaminated. A backflow preventer is a device that allows water to only run in one direction in your pipes. But why is a backflow preventer important?
Few things are more rewarding (and delicious!) than walking out to your backyard vegetable garden and picking that first ripe tomato off the bush. If you’re like me, you might not be able to wait and you’ll take that first, amazing bite right there, under the summer sun. As rewarding as it is to grow and harvest your own food right from your backyard, it can be equally frustrating to pour your sweat and tears into a garden, only to have it not produce.
A brand new, fresh asphalt parking lot or driveway is a beautiful thing. The crisp lines, smooth surface, and consistent black color make it very visually appealing. But what about old asphalt? Far too often we see asphalt that has not been well maintained and has quickly become weak, deteriorated, bumpy, and ugly. This outcome is not inevitable. Doing just a few simple things can keep your asphalt in good working order for decades.
Properly planning your vegetable garden may be the single most important step in toward the most bountiful crops and plentiful harvest possible. Some gardeners wait until the last minute to think about their gardens and end up just plopping the plants into the ground without much thought. It’s never too early to start planning your garden, and her are a few things to consider while you’re doing it:
Culinary experts will tell you that we eat with our eyes first. A colorful plate in a variety of hues is much more appealing than one that is monochromatic. We can add color and visual variety to our dishes by using a variety of fruits, veggies, and even flowers.
In time, even the very best, and dare we say beautiful, asphalt driveways will eventually develop potholes. These potholes may be small and a little bit of inconvenience at first but in time they will grow and become a serious issue if left uncorrected. Fortunately, pothole repair in a driveway is an easy project that can be done by anyone willing to put in a little bit of work. Repairs done with a high grade patching material, such as UPM, may last as long as the rest of the asphalt.
Winter is in full swing, and with it the challenge of keeping walkways clear of snow and ice. Whenever salts or other de-icing chemicals are used to assist in the ice removal, special caution should be taken to reduce the damage these agents can cause to the surrounding vegetation. Salts are toxic to plants when they dissolve in water because sodium ions replace the phosphorous and potassium in the soil. Rock salt also absorbs the water in the soil, taking it from the roots. This causes stress and dehydration for the roots of surrounding foliage. Salt also reduces the cold hardiness of plants making them even more susceptible to frost damage.
Growing vegetables in the winter may not be something that normally crosses your mind, especially in colder climates like northern Utah. However, many people don’t realize their garden, if cared for correctly, could yield produce until Halloween, or possibly even Thanksgiving, without much extra effort.
Some people may love a fresh layer of new snow, with its serene covering of winter’s dormant lawns, coating everything in a beautiful and fluffy white blanket. But to others, the freshly fallen snow means another chore that needs to be done, the removal of the snow from driveways and sidewalks. When snow and ice removal is not done quickly or properly, it can lead to a hazardous slip-and-fall situation, especially if grandma comes to visit. The snow itself, along with its associated removal, can potentially damage asphalt, concrete, pavers, and other hard surfaces.