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Gardening Herriman Style

May 05, 2016 03:38PM ● Published by Tori La Rue

By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals

South Valley - Last year Sadie Salazar’s debut garden flourished.

“It grew even more than I could have hoped for or dreamed,” she said. “There was so much zucchini that I was giving it to anyone who would take it, and I got really creative with my recipes.”

Salazar became a zucchini chef, making fried zucchini, zucchini pickles, zucchini relish and many loaves of zucchini bread, she said. She had so much zucchini that she froze some to make zucchini delights all year long and donated some to the Riverton Senior Center.

In addition to zucchini, she grew 10 kinds of peppers, yellow and butternut squash, rosemary, sage, onions, peas, carrots and green beans all in three, 25-foot dirt rows within the Herriman Community Garden, located at 12733 South Pioneer Street.

“With last year being my first year gardening at all, the community garden was a good way to get going,” she said. “The plot ends up being free because if you keep your plot you get the deposit back, and I had the help of other gardeners who were more experienced.”

The community garden has a closed Facebook group where those who are less experienced can ask gardening questions, and those who are familiar with Utah terrain can answer. When people leave on trips, they ask other members to water and look after their plants, Salazar said.  

Salazar’s heading back for year two with the Community Garden, but this time she’ll be taking care of a double plot—six, 25-foot rows of crops. 

“Having such a success my first year was encouraging and helped me decide to go bigger this year,” she said. 

The Herriman Community Garden, which contains 56 plots on 0.5 acres of land, was instigated seven years ago, and Trish Slussar, garden committee chair, has been involved almost since its beginning. 

“We have found it is a valuable asset to people, especially those in apartments and homes that are small without a large yard,” Slussar said. “There’s a huge demand for it. We have a waiting list because there’s more interest than plots.”

The community garden works as follows – residents sign up for a plot on www.herriman.org/community/community-gardens/. The committee lets the residents know if their plot has been reserved or if they are on the waiting list. Once the committee contacts residents with their plot information, they may pay their registration fee and begin planting any annual plant they desire. The city provides manure and an irrigation system with water pumps. 

Salazar said she loves that community gardening gets her outdoors and working in a physical capacity, but she said her favorite thing is having fresh vegetables. 

“I like the idea of providing food without grocery store and being self-sufficient,” she said. “It’s definitely cheaper in the long run. I spent $60 total on seeds and plants, and got 200 pounds of produce. Besides, it’s rewarding to see something grow from a seed to a giant vegetable that can feed your whole family for a couple days.” 

Most community garden participants will begin planting their seeds in mid-May, which is the best time to garden in Utah, according to Slussar.

“I’d recommend that anyone toying with the idea of gardening just get out and try it,” Salazar said. “Join the community garden, or figure it out on your own.” 

Utah State University Extension, a supporter of community and individual gardeners, offers some mid-May gardening tips for those, like Salazar, who are hoping to create a garden this year:

• Plant annuals once the danger of frost is past.

• Fertilize annuals about two weeks after planting to stimulate growth.

• Use mulch or a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent weeds in the garden.

• Start planting tender plants such as celery, cucumber, dry bean, snap bean, spinach, summer squash, sweet corn.

• Get a head start on controlling garden pests.

• By the end of May, begin planting very tender plants such as cantaloupe, eggplant, lima bean, pepper, pumpkin, tomato, watermelon and winter squash.   

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