Spring In Edmonton - A Time To Sow

Spring in Edmonton takes it’s time to arrive and like many gardeners, you may have noticed that it comes later and later each year.

Gardening is more than sticking stuff in the dirt and hoping it will grow. Its work and it takes a bit of knowledge to grow a really successful garden, but the effort is well worth it. The rewards of gardening are many. Aside from the obvious benefit of having fresh garden greens and vegetables, there is the benefit of being outdoors in the sun and the physical benefits of working in the garden, pulling weeds, hilling potatoes.  Another added benefit is fresh flowers filling the air around your home and giving you plenty of fresh cut flowers to enhance your décor.

Bringing the outdoors in is a great way to showcase a home. A bouquet of fresh flowers or even a basket of fresh greens, tomatoes and carrots can make a colorful table display. It all adds to the perceived value of your home. Everyone loves to enter a home that is well cared for and has that homey feeling. Of course, nothing says “home” quite like a garden and fresh flowers does it?

Knowing when to plant what and how is the trick of a having successful garden in Edmonton. Here are some hints and dates that might help you out.

The best time to plant your vegetable garden the 1st weekend in May! (Except pumpkins and cucumbers).  In the Edmonton area – zone 2, the average frost free date is May 27th.  It is usually is safe to seed most things by May 15th, if the ground is dry enough to till.  If you’re planning on planting corn, you must have it planted but this date or it will likely not mature by fall.

As long as the forecast does not include a subzero night for the rest of the next four or five days, transplant the majority of frost hardy flowers vegetables (plants like pansy, violas, snapdragons & lobelia; lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, and onions by May 10th. If it gets really cold, (-5C) be, prepared to cover them up. Normally they will all survive a light frost if they have a chance to get acclimatized for a week ahead of the frost.

If a frost warning is forecasted, simply cover your plants with sheets, bath towels or light blankets for protection. For smaller container plants just move them to a protected area such as a porch roof or into the garage for the night.

You can be sown directly into the ground Spinach, Edible Peas & Sweet Peas usually by April 20th!  If you do, you’ll be picking peas by July 5!  Beets, radishes, Swiss chard, turnips, carrots, and onion sets can usually be sown directly into the ground around May 1st. Just be sure you mark all your plants so you know which plant is growing in which row.

Plant potatoes, beans, and corn by May 10th.  Springs here in Edmonton are getting later, and later!  We used to be able to plant pumpkins and basil by June 1st, but now it’s best to wait until around June 7 -10th.

To be on the safe side, wait until there is no danger of frost to plant pumpkins, zinnia, geraniums, peppers and cucumbers. This is usually the first week of June. They have to be planted by June 10th, or you won’t have time for them to mature by September frosts, which often come with the full moon!

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