Growing Common Crops

Growing Common Crops

The thought of growing crops can quickly go from excitement to dread when you realize the work involved to grow your favorite fruits or veggies. However, once you know the basics, it can be quite simple to grow these plants. Read on to learn about how to plant, fertilize, and spray your plants in Utah, Idaho and beyond.

Growing Tips

When you are starting a garden, it is important to plan everything out before you get started. Decide what plants you want to grow and make sure your soil and weather can support these crops. You will probably need to amend your soil or if you are using a growing box you will want an all around soil mix.  

Common Crops

While there are many plants that won't grow in Utah and Idaho, there are some plants that do really well in the intermountain west. Try these plants when you are ready to get your garden going. 

Tomatoes - These hardy plants are a favorite since they are easy to grow and can be eaten with many different dishes. You will want to plant your tomatoes outside around Mother's Day to reduce the risk of freezing. Fertilize them with Tomato & Vegetable Food every six to eight weeks to keep them healthy and strong. Spray with Triple Action or Spinosad once or twice a season to prevent bugs.

Apples - Nothing is more satisfying than biting into a crisp freshly picked apple. Fertilize them with a 16-16-8 fertilizer in the spring to keep them healthy and strong. Spray with dormant oil in the Spring at the green tip stage of budding to help with aphids, scales and mites. If you have serious problems with aphids or scales you can also spray with Malathion. Spray the apple trees with Spinosad about every two weeks starting at the end of May when apples are like half golf ball size for worms and other bugs.

Peaches - Fertilize your peaches with a 16-16-8 fertilizer around the root zone in the early spring. Spray with dormant oil in the Spring at the pink stage of budding to help with aphids, blight, and peach twig borer. Starting in May spray the trunk, lower limbs and the base of tree with Permethrin every month through September. Fruit Tree Spray is also great for killing pests and funguses as needed.

Cherries -  Early spring is also the best time to fertilize cherries with 16-16-8 fertilizer. Spray with dormant oil in the Spring at the white bud stage of budding to help with aphids and scales. Spray for worms with Malathion when the cherries start to turn colors (usually late May).

Strawberries -  Make sure to plant your strawberries in soil that drains well. Fertilize with a well balanced fertilizer at the beginning of the season and then a few months later or after harvesting. Spread Diatomaceous Earth around the area to keep pests away and cover the berries with bird netting to keep birds from eating the strawberries.

Corn -  You will want to plant corn in late April or May when nights are above 50 degrees. Fertilize them with a 16-16-8 fertilizer before planting. Apply 2 lbs for every 100 sq ft. Once it gets growing and has 8 to 10 leaves side dress (put in a shallow trench 6 inches from row) with 1/2 pound Urea 46-0-0 per 100 sq ft. Apply another 1/4 pound when corn stalks develop. Spray for aphids and corn worms with Thuricide as needed.

Spraying Schedule

One of the trickiest parts of growing fruits and vegetables is knowing when to spray for various pests. Follow this chart to stay on top of your herbicides for your crops. Many crops will need to be sprayed multiple times per year on so it's important to stay on top of your spray schedule.

Crop Timing Sprays Controls
Apples, Cherries & Pears When temperature remains above freezing for 24 hours Dormant Spray Aphids, Scales, Blister mites, Fire blight
Apples Every two weeks starting at end of May Spinosad Worms and other bugs
Peaches & Apricots When temperature remains above freezing for 24 hours Dormant Spray Aphids, Peach twig borer
Peaches Monthly, from the end of May - Sept Permethrin Peach Twig & Peach Tree Borer
Tomatoes Mid Season Yield Booster Blossom end rot
Cherries When fruit is turning. Spray weekly three times Spinosad Soap or Malathion Cherry Fruit Fly
Corn Regularly as you see pests Thuricide Aphids, Corn worms
Strawberries Regularly as you see pests Diatomaceous Earth Slugs, Earwigs

Protecting Your Plants

Preventing diseases and bugs is essential to keeping your plants healthy and making sure you have a good harvest. If you aren't sure what spayrs or fertilizers your crops need, speak with one of our specialists at Steve Regan. We have been growing together with our customers since 1936 and can help you come up with the best plan for your garden and other plants.