YYC foodies: do you grow your own food? [Moved from Prairie Provinces]
I'm curious how many chowhounders garden as well. Anyone?
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Last year I grew a small patch of Red Pontiac Potatoes, some lettuce that died, some beets, garlic that didn't seem to do well and a single carrot (the seeds were too old).
I expected them to be good but was pretty surprised still at how good something you pulled up washed and ate fresh that day is.
I have a pretty good arrangment. My husband grows the food and I cook it! Last year's garden included potatoes, swiss chard, onions, carrots, radishes, peas and shallots. The carrots and radishes were disappointing but everything else grew wonderfully. I actually don't know anyone who got any decent radishes this year. Was it just a bad year for them?
This year we have plans to expand the garden and add beets, various herbs, raspberries, saskatoons and a crabapple tree. We had a crabapple tree at our old place and we really miss having crabapple juice all winter.
that is really interesting about the radishes, I had the same problem, they went straight to seed, this was my first year for them. This will be my 3rd season for a veggie garden, I have promised that I will always try something for at least 2 seasons. I guess radishes will get another try! We also do all the basics plus winter squash, cucumbers, cabbage, cauliflower, brocoli. We had a generally bad year last year, birds ate a lot of my seedlings as they sprouted and slugs got the rest. We have some work to do this year!
I am dropping peppers (except a pot of jalepenos) they take up too much room and I just don't get a high enough yield.
I have learned that we are actually a bit better off up here in Edmonton, we have a bit more heat and rain for the garden, we can grow almost anything in the garden.
I am planting an apple tree this year as a memorial to my late father, I cannot wait to have apples....in a few years :)
We also have plans for raspberries and saskatoons grown wild up here in the river valley. They are such a short season, and such a wild bushy 'tree' that I don't want them in my yard.
Cleopatra, I sympathize with you as I live north of Edmonton. There is little difference between a zone 1a and 3a. Regardless the growing season is very short. My husband built me fabulous raised beds in an area that gets tons of sun. As beds dry out earlier we can plant earlier. They are also easier to cover and try to extend the season a bit. I am a Master Gardener who also wishes for a longer growing season - I would be thrilled with a zone 5 or 6!!
Having said all that, it is amazing what CAN grow here. Last year I grew 17 herb varieites (sadly nearly all are annual), asparagus peas, several types of beans, strawberries, many greens including arugula and radicchio, carrots, etc. In fact, even in my limited space, we gave away bags and bags of greens to neighbours.
Lilies do best in the prairie provinces. We have scads of hazelnuts as well as intensely sweet wild blueberries and wild strawberries.
We do, but we're bad at it. Last summer we attempted Swiss chard, lettuce, parsnips, peas, carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries...I think that might be it. The Swiss chard and peas did okay, and we got a few strawberries, but that's about it. The parsnips and carrots were tiny, and the broccoli and Brussels sprouts didn't get anything you could eat on them. I'm not sure they came up at all (I can't remember).
The year before that, we also tried radishes, but they went straight to seed. No idea why.
I would love to put in some Saskatoon and raspberry bushes. I'd like a huckleberry one, too, but I understand they won't grow here. But I discovered last summer that I really love Saskatoons.