Gardening: General Canadian Planting Schedule

Canada is a vast landmass with a variety of growing zones. In some areas around Lake Ontario and the southern interior of British Columbia, grape vines can survive the winter. On the other extreme, some areas of the North have little or no growing season without greenhouses.

Most Canadians live somewhere around the 4b to 6b planting zones. You can find your plant hardiness zone here.

I’ve made a list of some common plants and a general timeline for starting indoor seedlings to ensure an efficient harvest.

The range of temperatures from zone 4b to 6b is fairly significant so use common sense. Plant your seedlings after the frost.

Victoria Day is sometimes used as the unofficial start of planting season. I would rather gamble by planting seedlings in stages (so long as they’re cheap and/or I have them in excess) and hoping for the best. Worst case, I lose a few seedlings. Best case, I have a continual supply of plants producing fruits, roots and veggies.

February:

  • Onions
  • Leeks

March:

  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant

April:

  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Radish
  • Parsnips
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Lettuce
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Celery
  • Swiss chard

May:

  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Melons
  • More greens
  • Kale
  • Squash
  • Watermelon

Victoria Day:

  • Direct seeding of pumpkins
  • Cucumbers
  • Beans
  • Greens
  • Transplant all previous seedlings

June:

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes

July:

  • Fennel
  • Seconds: lettuce, greens, broccoli, carrots, beets, turnips

August:

  • Quick growing greens

September:

  • Plants for indoor overwintering from cuttings and seeds
  • Fall/winter crops: potatoes, garlic, kale, carrots

October:

  • Dig up and store any remaining crops.
  • If you want to get really fancy, build some polytunnels (basically green houses made with plastic sheet wrapping) with a shallow base in the ground to insulate. Depending on the severity of the winter and the growing zone, you might need artificial heating like space heaters to keep the area warm enough to sustain winter crops.
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