Garden Hardiness Zones In Canada
When it comes to garden hardiness zones in Canada can get confusing very quickly. The zones in Canada are determined by the Agriculture & Agri Foods Canada and it is determined by several environmental factors like elevation, annual precipitation and temperatures to name a few. Every five to ten years these zones are reassessed and sometimes an area can shift up or down depending on the average.
If you are new to this blog my name is Ashley and I am a soil scientist located in a Canadian Zone 3 and a USDA Zone 4. I write articles and make YouTube videos all designed for Canadians and Cold Climate gardeners using science based methods. If you are looking for anything specific be sure to let me know in the comments down below
Why Garden Hardiness Zones In Canada Matter
Knowing the hardiness zone of your area can help you pick perennials and even let you know what days it is best to start seeds indoors. The zone data can even provide a guideline for frost free days and when you can plant outside in the spring. I like to use this information as a guideline with two weeks give or take, depending on the year. Check out the chart below to find your city’s zone. If it is not added be sure to let us know so we can get it added.
|Fort Liard||Northwest Territories||2A|
|Fort Nelson||British Columbia||3a|
|Fort Simpson||Northwest Territories||2A|
|Fort St. John||British Columbia||3a|
|Hay River||Northwest Territories||1A|
|Prince George||British Columbia||4a|
|Prince Ruppert||British Columbia||8a|
|Sault St. Marie||Ontario||4b|
Once we know the zone of your area then we can determine when to start our seeds indoors. I like to split my seeds up into flowers, 110+ days to harvest, & 80 – 110 days to harvest. For flowers you can start them anytime after Mid February, just keep in mind the earlier you start them the sooner they fade in the summer.
When To Start Flower Seeds Based On Your Zone
For example if we start flowers on valentines day the plants will appear leggy by mid August. This is why flowers should be started in waves over a period of two months starting each set a month apart. When we do this it allows for fuller planters all summer long. For harvestable vegetables and fruits we need to determine the days to harvest.
When To Start Vegetable Seeds Based On Your Zone
When determining the start time of produce we have to look at something called growing degree days. Growing degree days refers to the number of sunlight days needed for the plant to produce edible food after it has germinated. When a seed packet says 85 days to harvest it is referencing the growing degree days needed. This is why knowing the zones and the total numbers of growing days in that zone is helpful.
Growing Two Crops In A Row In Canada
For some of the higher zones in Canada most seeds can be sown directly outside. Or in some cases you may be able to get multiple crops off in succession. The key is the days to harvest and from there you can map out exactly how many days you need and how many crops are possible. Check out the printable guide to see when you should start your seeds based on your Canadian zone.
All zones in Canada can support 60 days or less days to harvest being sown directly outdoors. And if the seed package says 30 days or less you will be able to seed back to back for two harvests.
Let us know what our planting schedule looks like! And also be sure to let us know if any cities or towns are missing so we can add them into the chart. Always keep in mind that these zones can shift over time and that the frost free dates can vary up to two weeks depending on the year.