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Utah Planting Zones

Utah planting zones

Utah’s climate is semi-arid to desert, but it is a mountainous state with a wide variety of climates and planting zones across its numerous peaks. Eastern Utah is in what’s known as the rain shadow of the Wasatch Mountains. Precipitation is mostly from the Pacific Ocean, as the state lies in a direct path of many of the storms coming from the coast during fall through late spring. Summer brings monsoons from the Gulf of California to the southern and eastern parts of the state. The summer months can see temperatures into the triple digits across most of the state, but low humidity makes the heat more tolerable than it is in some other areas of the country. Average annual precipitation can range from less than 5 inches to 15 inches. Salt Lake City will get about 60 inches of snow each year, with the rest of the state seeing some snowfall in most areas except the Great Salt Lake Desert. There is a micro climate along the entire length of the Great Salt Lake that can cause up to 500 inches of lake effect snow annually.  

Finding your hardiness zone is simple with Gilmour’s Interactive Planting Zone Map. Knowing the hardiness zone, or planting zone you are in is useful so that you know what will grow best in a certain area. Utah growing zones range from 4a to 9a. Growing zones do not just help gardeners figure out which plants, flowers and vegetables will thrive but also which will likely not survive the winters of their region. All hardiness zones, including Utah planting zones, are determined around first and last frost dates. For best results, choose plants rated for the Utah planting zone you are in or lower. So, if you live in zone 4a, plant anything rated for zones 1 through 4, but not higher. Using plants rated for a higher zone is tricky as they will most likely not be able to survive the winter. 

A lot of plants, vegetables and flowers grow in Utah. Hummingbird fuchsia, bee balm, daylilies, hosta, blanket flower and tall garden phlox all thrive in Utah gardens. A number of vegetables will flourish there as well. Mustard greens, tomatoes, zucchini, corn, beans, radish, lettuce and peas are all great choices for Utah vegetable gardens. 

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