Gardening for Life!

Tips - Extending the Calgary Garden Season

Help your Calgary garden flourish beyond our short gardening season.

check out the tips created by our Garden Animator, Janet Melrose.

Click here for a PDF file

cgrn header - row cover

Extending the Calgary Garden Season!

10 tips to keep 2013 going and be in the ground early in 2014

1)   Use floating row covers to keep hardy perennials and edibles looking good throughout the fall and early winter freezes. The covers can easily be lifted to enjoy the greenery and flowers when it is nice outside.  


2)   Mulch your beds with leaves collected from your garden or elsewhere. The leaves will buffer the soil temperatures and moisture allowing woody plants to keep growing roots well into December, as well as giving habitat for beneficial insects to overwinter in the garden. The leaves will break down in spring to feed the soil so no need to remove them.


3)   Deadhead perennials to remove spent flowers, foliage and stems. The plant material can be used in compost building, unless it is diseased, in which case should be put in the garbage. Leave a few sturdy ones for interest and birds to perch on over the winter.


4)   Build a compost pile using garden cleanup greens layered with fallen leaves you collected. You can add to the pile throughout the winter using kitchen scraps, and keep layering it each week with some leaves head in reserve.


5)   Plant some spring flowering bulbs now for early spring colour! Snow crocus pop up as soon as the sun is higher in the sky in spring and you can see your first blooms of 2014 by late March.


6)   Sow a row of spinach now for succulent early greens in April.


7)   Build a cold frame to use now to house late maturing and cold hardy edibles now. Then it will be ready to use in spring to sow seeds or bring on those seedlings you start in February.


8)   Clean and sharpen garden tools, so they are ready to use when needed. And don't forget to clean the shed!


9)   Set up a window farm for micro-greens all winter long


10)          Take in a workshop or talk, read a garden book, or visit a gardening friend that you haven't seen all summer!


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