The Zesty Garden

The Zesty Garden is UPR's original gardening and outdoors program. The Zesty Garden is more than just the usual garden conversation show.

Expect insider information about Utah hiking and biking trails along with their flora and fauna. Learn what plants you should avoid putting in your landscape with the Wait, Wait. . .Don’t Plant That! segment. Literary musings will encourage your soul and inform your mind.

To round out the hour, show host Bryan Earl will infuse his own green thumb experiences along with your questions and comments.

The Zesty Garden airs Thursday at 10 a.m. on Utah Public Radio.

Contact the Zesty Garden:

You can catch weekly updates and info for your garden and outdoor life on the Zesty Garden Twitter account.

If you want to send us a message, please click here.

Additional Gardening Info:

Plant Pest Advisory Sign-Up
Horticulture/Dormant Spray Demystified
Insect Vectors of Vegetable Virus Diseases

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Butternut & Apple Soup (Gluten Free) Liz Fallis

6 lbs butternut squash, halved & seeded

¼ c olive oil (or less)

1 onion, chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp Kosher salt

1 tsp pepper

3 apples, diced

3 c apple cider

4 quarts stock, vegetable or chicken

4 oz green pumpkin seeds, toasted

4 oz crumbled blue cheese

Roast butternut on greased baking sheet at 375, for 45-60 minutes, or until very soft.  Cool enough to scoop butternut from skin.  Heat olive oil in large stock pot and sauté onion, celery and garlic until soft, but not browned.  Add salt, pepper, butternut, apples, apple cider and 3 quarts of stock.  Bring to a boil, then simmer until apples and vegetables are very soft.  Puree in a blender.  Adjust thickness with additional stock if too thick.  Adjust seasonings.  Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds & crumbled blue cheese.  Serves 20.

Mark Anderson from Anderson Seed and Garden helps you select a gift for the discerning gardener in your life, and Helen Cannon continues with her essay remembering Chadwick's Plants in Willard, UT.


Amy Stewart / Algonquin Press

Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley and tequila from agave. Today on the Zesty Garden is an encore interview with Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist. On Petals and Prose is a personal essay from Helen Cannon as she remembers Chadwick's Perennials in Willard, UT.


Zesty Garden - 10/31

Nov 9, 2013

USU Facilities Certified Arborist, Preston Colver, helps you finish up outside gardening tasks. Also, he'll help you know when your trees are approaching their life limit. On Petals and Prose, Nancy Williams chats about spiders.


Zesty Garden 10/24

Nov 9, 2013
USU Extension

How do you keep the creepy crawlers out of your home? Diane Alston, USU Extension Entomologist will help you on today's Zesty Garden. In Petals and Prose, Helen Cannon refers to the Canadian Settler's Guide.


Zesty Garden- October 17

Oct 17, 2013

The gardening season is drawing to a close and Mark Anderson of Anderson Seed and Garden will help you finish the season on a high note. We talk about bulbs, weeds, and lawn care on today’s show, along with Petals and Prose from Helen Cannon.


Zesty Garden- October 10

Oct 14, 2013

The snow has already begun to fly but there is still time to get those last few tasks completed before the ground is frozen. What to do first? Dan Drost, USU Extension Gardening Specialist is in studio to help you prioritize. In Petals and Prose, Nancy Williams reads and excerpt about what happens when beekeepers have a pig roast.


Zesty Garden- October 3

Oct 4, 2013

The "king," the "trumpet," "the hedgehog." These are all names given to wild mushrooms by those who forage for them. It’s a world that author and mushroom forager Langdon Cook knows well. In his new book “Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America," we are introduced to the subculture of mushroom pickers and buyers who are responsible for finding the wild mushrooms that end up on our plates.  And, in Petals and Prose, Nancy Williams reads an essay about raising honeybees in the Ozarks.

Gardening in southern Utah isn’t very tricky; You just have to know what time of the year to grow, and keep your plants well hydrated. Today on The Zesty Garden, USU/Washington County Extension Agent Rick Heflebower, will help you understand the ins and outs of growing in hot temperatures. Also, Helen Cannon delivers the latest Petals and Prose.

Lilacs are not native to the west, but they were brought here by the early pioneers and have adapted well to our climate. Lilacs often point the way to original homesteads as they continue to hang on with the little moisture they receive. Give them a little extra water above what mother nature provides in Utah, and they thrive.

Zesty Garden- Sept. 12

Sep 12, 2013

Today on The Zesty Garden, Dan Drost joins us for a discussion on how to extend your growing season and how to get those tomatoes to ripen before frost hits. And in Petals and Prose, journalist Nancy Williams joins us with some reminiscences of her friend and gardener extraordinaire, Will Pitkin, as well as a reading of his uniquely written obituary.


This week on The Zesty Garden, Tom Williams fills in for Bryan Earl in a discussion with Mark Anderson from Anderson Seed and Garden about re-seeding your lawn, planting fall bulbs, and how to divide perennials. You’ll also hear the latest Petals and Prose segment from Helen Cannon.


Zesty Garden- August 29

Aug 28, 2013

On this Thursday’s show I have a conversation with USU Extension Soils Specialist, Grant Cardon. He says that one of the most important things we can do to improve our soils is to plant a cover crop, also known as green manure. It’s so easy to do and now is the time to plant. We’ll tell you what, when, where, how and why cover crops are so beneficial.


The western striped and the western spotted cucumber beetle have been a nuisance in Utah gardens lately. Their damage can be extensive. On Thursday’s The Zesty Garden, U-S-U Extension Entomologist Diane Alston will help you get these and other insect critters under control. We’ll also hear about the naming of plants on Petals and Prose, and you’ll learn why not to plant Sea Oats on Wait, Wait…Don’t Plant That!


Zesty Garden- August 15

Aug 15, 2013

Harvesting rainwater on your own property is easy to do. Utah Water Watch Coordinator, Brian Green, and Licensed Landscape Architect Kevin Jensen of Three Men and a Shovel, are in studio with practical ideas on how to do it. He talks regulations, how to store rainwater, and how to (and when to) register to collect rainwater in your own yard.

Before 2010 you were breaking the law to collect rainwater- even the water coming off your own roof or from your property. Why? Water rights.

Zesty Garden- August 8

Aug 8, 2013

Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek and chive. Today on The Zesty Garden, USU Extension Vegetable Specialist, Dan Drost will tell you everything you need to know about planting and using garlic.

Zesty Garden- August 1

Aug 5, 2013

On the Zesty Garden this week, USU Extension Forestry Specialist Mike Kuhns will help you fireproof your yard. The right plants in the right place will make the difference should you house be in the path of a wildfire.  Yellow flax is the subject of the next Take a Hike segment. Jerry Goodspeed will tell you to use a bucket if you want to plant comfrey, and finally, from Helen Cannon in Petals and Prose, you’ll hear a tribute to the late Will Pitkin, formerly of Hyde Park.

Zesty Garden- July 25

Jul 24, 2013

In a captivating look at the sinister side of the natural world on Thursday’s The Zesty Garden, author Amy Stewart uncovers more than one hundred of our worst insect enemies in her book Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects. It’s a mixture of history, science, murder, and intrigue that begins-but doesn’t end-in our own backyards. 

Zesty Garden- July 18

Jul 19, 2013

What would you say to a meal of chocolate covered grasshoppers? How about cabbage, peas n crickets or caramel popcorn cicadas? While it may or may not sound appetizing, the United Nations  food and agriculture organization is trying to make a case for why insects should be on your dinner plate.

USU Extension Entomologist, Diane Alston, is in studio and will give her take on the both the nutritional and taste profile of her favorite insects.


Zesty Garden- July 11

Jul 11, 2013

For the Zesty Garden today it’s USU’s Extension Vegetable Specialist Dan Drost, a hike at Tony Grove to see the elephant head flower, garden correspondence between Kathryn White and Elizabeth Lawrence, and a warning from USU Extension Horticulture Agent Jerry Goodspeed to avoid planting Jupiter’s Beard.

Tony Grove Flower Checklist


Zesty Garden- June 27

Jun 28, 2013

What’s chomping away on your garden produce? Diane Alston, USU Extension Entomologist will be in studio to take your gardening questions, and to discuss pollinators.

In our Petals and Prose segment, Helen Cannon reminds us of the old Flower-o-Rama Carpet. Mike Kuhns tells us in Wait, Wait…Don’t Plant That! why aspen is not such a great tree for your yard.  

Zesty Garden- June 20

Jun 21, 2013

  Today is a discussion with Gretchen Anderson about her book "The Backyard Chicken Fight: How Keeping Chickens in Your Yard is Ruffling Feathers Across the Nation."

We’ll help you select your chickens, build a coop, and also the best way to address current chicken laws in your community. 


Zesty Garden- June 13

Jun 13, 2013

  USU's Extension Vegetable Specialist, Dan Drost, is in studio to answer your vegetable growing questions. And in the latest installment of Take a Hike, David Wallace will tell you where to find Utah's State Flower, the Sego Lily. It's one of our prettiest wild flowers but can easily be missed if you don't know what to look for.


Zesty Garden- June 6

Jun 6, 2013

  Wildflowers of the Mountain West is a new field guide to aid in the identification of flora seen throughout the intermountain area. On the Zesty Garden today we’ll have a discussion with the guides authors. 


Zesty Garden- May 30

May 30, 2013

  “Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty yet? Amy Stewart is author of  The Drunken Botanist. Today on The Zesty Garden, she talks about the plants that create the world’s great drinks.


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