Gardening In Southeast Idaho

Gardening in southeast Idaho can be challenging and requires site selection and preparation, garden layout designing, and following a planting calendar. The state is a short-season, high-altitude zone, and those living in the southeast areas will experience conditions that demand techniques and plants that can adapt. At the same time, southeastern Idaho is rated with hardiness zones 3 to 5, making it prone to harsh climate and weather. 

Do not be discouraged with the hardiness zones and limited frost-free zones in some Southeast Idaho locations. You can always protect your crops from extreme climate and weather by gardening inside a greenhouse. Refer to and learn how to use a greenhouse for the growth of your plants year-round. 

Gardening In Southeast Idaho

Gardening Tips For Idaho

Idaho is a state well-known for ranking in the production of various crops. Its rich and fertile soil, irrigation, and ever-changing technologies allow farming to be a successful operation for many years. However, southeast Idaho requires more planning and unique approaches to ensure a fruitful harvest. 


Gardening in southeast Idaho

One can garden in southeast Idaho year-round. However, you must tackle site selection and preparation and garden layout designing. Afterward, you can follow the planting calendar by the Idaho Falls Community Garden Association for the crops you’ve chosen suitable for your location. 


Site selection and preparation

In general, you want to choose an area where your plants can get 6 to 12 hours of full sunlight. You also want the site to warm up quickly in the spring and dry out immediately to prevent rot. If the area has perennial weeds or tree rots, you have to address them a year before starting. 

After the location, the next step is to check and prepare the soil itself. You want it to be workable and not sticky like a child’s modeling clay. While it’s not possible to get a perfect sandy loam soil, your garden soil will improve over time with organic matter.

Adding organic matter will help improve the soil’s water-holding capacity while also enriching it with nutrients. You can add organic matter annually and expect a better soil structure. You may even find it unnecessary to use commercial fertilizers on your plants over time. 


Garden layout designing

Once the site and soil are ready, you must design the garden and how you’ll have your vegetables laid out. A useful layout is having perennial plants to one side so you won’t bother them when rototilling. And if you have low-growing crops, make sure that tall plants won’t end up shading them. 

Group your fast-growing crops separately from long season crops to have an easier time harvesting. For maintenance, you can have full rows to lessen the weed work. Having raised beds will also help for drainage and warming up the soil. 

For the plants themselves, you have the choice to do intercropping, companion planting, and double cropping. The former is best for those with limited space, while companion planting is a technique to arrange crops that are beneficial for each other. Lastly, double cropping is a way to plant in the same area after harvesting the previous frost-hardy crops. 


Planting calendar

The Idaho Falls Community Garden Association showed that year-round gardening is possible in southeast Idaho. However, you can also group your plants and plant them accordingly from mid-April to mid-July. Just remember that some crops would be better started indoors using a greenhouse. 

Starting in mid-April, plant very hardy crops such as asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, onions, peas, spinach, and turnips. Come late April, the hardy plants that you can start are beets, carrots, cauliflower, celery, potatoes, radish, and swiss chard. Then, in mid-may, you’ll have fewer options, including beans, corn, squash, and tomatoes.

In late May, you can start cantaloupe, cucumber, eggplant, okra, peppers, pumpkins, squash, and watermelon. Then, for mid-July, your fall crops would be beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, onions, peas, and spinach. These crops have different requirements, so note that your location will dictate which of these produce you can plant. 


What Planting Zone Is Southern Idaho?

Southern Idaho is in the USDA planting zones 3 to 5. The majority of the southeast Idaho areas are planting zone 4, but Stanley city in south-central Idaho has the shortest frost-free days. Gardeners need to note their planting zone to determine which plants are hardy enough for their weather conditions. 

It will also help you prepare for the climates if you know what planting zone is Idaho. Afterward, you can find the crops that can adapt to your region. And at the same time, you can prepare for frost and keep your plants in the greenhouse if necessary. 


When Should I Start A Garden In Idaho?

You can start gardening in Idaho at the beginning of the year. This is because gardening involves planning, maintenance, seed starting, propagation, and soil health. When it comes to planting, you can plant in March and harvest in January, depending on what crops you have. 

The garden season itself can last for seven months, especially if you live in a warm area. This is the reason why intercropping and double cropping are typical layouts in Idaho. And like in any area, make sure frost has passed before planting warm-weather crops. 


What Vegetables Grow Well In Idaho?

If you’re wondering what grows well in Idaho, the state produces not only fruits but also an extensive list of vegetables. According to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, the plants you can grow are potatoes, barley, sugarbeets, onions, peas and lentils, beans, and mint. Of course, if you know when to plant potatoes in Idaho, then it’s no surprise that this tuber tops the list. 

More than potatoes, Idaho is also known for producing barley that you can find top malting companies in the state. Idaho is also ranked second for the production of sugar beets and the Spanish Sweet variety of yellow onions that are of superior quality. Peas, lentils, beans, and mint are other vegetables that Idaho grows as well. 



Gardening can be challenging, but all the effort and hard work will be paid off by a fruitful harvest. Gardening in southeast Idaho requires site selection and preparation, garden layout designing, and following a planting calendar to ensure success. This way, you can make sure that your crops are ready to adapt and grow to the challenges. 

Southeast Idaho has hardiness zones rated 3 to 5. This means that in some areas, climate and weather can be harsh. However, you should not feel discouraged, as greenhouses’ invention has made it possible to protect plants from extreme conditions. 

At the same time, the success of Idaho in ranking as the top producer in various crops is proof that with proper techniques and knowledge, gardening is a worthwhile endeavor.

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.


What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.


What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.


Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.


What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.


3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.


Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.


Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.


Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.



No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.


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