Gardening in the Big Horn Basin
Gardening can be challenging in the Big Horn Basin. Our native soils are low in organic matter; the arid climate causes salts to accumulate in the soil; an unexpected late or early frost can kill plants. But we also have some advantages here like the long hot summers, low humidity, and relatively little wind compared to much of Wyoming.
Here are some resources that will help you get off to a good start, and hopefully inspire many years of fun and productive gardening.
Presentations from workshops and classes:
- Vegetable Gardens for Beginners
- Soils for Successful Vegetable Gardens – BnB Live!
- Soil Testing for Gardeners
Articles by Dr. Caitlin:
- Growing Healthy Soil in the Garden
- Fall Soil Prep
- Saline Soils Present Special Problems
- Cover Crops for Gardens
- UW Extension: Vegetables in Wyoming
- UW BnB: Garden Economics
- Worland Community Garden Planting Schedule
Raised Beds and Containers:
- UW Extension: Container Gardening
- WSU Extension: Strawbale Gardening
- USU Extension: Raised Bed Gardening
- Purdue Extension: Container and Raised Bed Gardening
- Pallet Garden Instructions
- WSU_Extension: Backyard Composting
- Boston Recycling: Simple Welded Wire Bin
- NRAES: Compost Bin Plans
- Worms Eat My Garbage
Gardening Seasons in the Big Horn Basin:
In Worland, our average last frost date (32 F) is May 9th, and our average first frost date is September 24th. You can look up the average dates for your location here. Note that these are average dates, and sometimes Mother Nature has her own ideas! Based on our growing season, this is the calendar we use for the Worland Community Garden: Worland Community Garden Planting Schedule.
More University of Wyoming Extension Resources:
- From the Ground Up is a series of 90 second video clips about gardening and horticulture in Wyoming.
- The UW Barnyards and Backyards magazine archive and the Wyoming Master Gardener program are wonderful resource for gardeners and rural land owners.
- The Barnyards and Backyards Live! program is new a series of virtual events on a variety of topics and you can watch recording of events you missed.
- UW Extension Food Preservation Bulletins (hard copies available at the Extension Office).
This is a self-guided, self-paced course. You may go through it as quickly or as slowly as you would wish. There are videos, lectures, readings, and activities for you to choose from.
The Master Gardener Short Course Series highlights sections from OSU’s Master Gardener Online course, which allows you to study the specific fundamentals that you’re interested in.
This free beginning gardening course teaches participants the tools they need to start a garden and grow their own food on a budget. If you would like a copy of the workbook for this program, email Caitlin Youngquist.