Gardening in Calgary AB?

by Maia C

magicpixie asks: Gardening in Calgary AB?
It’s almost time to start thinking about gardening… I’d like to plant veggies in my garden outdoors. I’ve heard that Calgary weather is not very good for many veggies (and fruits like tomatoes).
I need some advice on what I can plant here. I’d like carrots, squash, peas, pole beans… what works here (I have south and west facing gardens and walls to plant against.


The answer voted best is:

Answer by Peter R
Can’t beat new potatoes, plant on May 24th. Beans you’ll have your best results after 2nd week in June. Leaf lettuce May 24. Forget carrots. Onion sets work well. Radish, spinach and peas are 2nd week of May, with additional planting 3 weeks apart.

Carrots are often sown too thick and grow wayyy slower than the competing weeds, so unless you use a commercial herbicide carrots are a pain in the dirt. But if your garden is clean of weeds and at least 12+ inches of topsoil you can go for it. Besides, it never snows there, right? hehe!

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  1. I’m thinking that you live in Zone 3. That’s a northern zone and from where Calgary is, that’s where I think you are. That means that when you consider seeds, you need to look for those that will grow in Zone 3. You can verify this by looking at any Burpee Seed display rack, and looking at their map.

    I actually disagree with the previous poster about carrots. In general, vegetables that grow best in cool weather are leafy greens, root crops and various members of the cabbage family. Beets, carrots, peas, chard, endive, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, turnips, radishes, spinach, oriental vegetables like Chinese cabbage and bok choy and transplants of late cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts may be planted in early August for fall harvesting.

    Check out the websites I’ve listed as resources as they may be helpful to you. And don’t forget to just experiment! Try growing something to see if it takes.

  2. If you have hot summers (lots of 80 degree plus days) and short seasons, you can plant any veggies that have a short season, like early girl tomatoes is a good one and fat and sassy was a good pepper and almost any green bean. I’m in central minnesota, zone 3. If your summers are cool, then you would do well with radishes, turnips, cabbage, peas & lettuce. For short summers, you have to start tomatoes and peppers indoors, and transplant out. Or buy transplants.

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