Cheating Tips for Gardening in Calgary
Growing garlic couldn’t be easier and there are lots of varieties to choose from for Fall planting. Like onions, they have a long growing season and won’t be ready to harvest until next summer, but it is well worth the wait!
3. Spring Onions
Winter hardy varieties of spring onion make a tasty accompaniment to winter salads. They are a fairly quick growing crop and early Fall sowings should be ready to harvest by early spring.
For an early crop of carrots, Fall planting will give your harvest a 3 to 4 week head start. While you may want to leave your carrots in the ground to harvest after the frost to allow the plants to convert some of their starch stores into sugar, your crop will be fully grown. Parsnips in particular benefit from this longer growing period as do carrots with the unpredictable seasons in our region, we all remember Snow-tember 2014. Root vegetables undertake this starch conversion to keep the water in their cells from freezing, the cells inside a carrot might have icy-cold water, but that water won’t turn into ice.
This traditionally oriental vegetable (bok choi or pak choi) can be harvested young throughout the winter as individual salad leaves, or let the heads mature and add the succulent stems to dishes like stir fries. Bok and Pak Choi are quick to mature and packed full of nutrients. Although they are often grown as a summer crop, they can still be sown in late summer for transplanting under cover in the Fall.