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Alberta Planting Calendar

Updated: Apr 26, 2022

Knowing when to plant your vegetable garden in zone 3 Alberta can be a tricky question but it is one of the most basic of gardening questions. Today I will share with you my vegetable garden planting calendar for where I live near Calgary, Alberta.

Planting my raised bed vegetable garden in April in zone 3 Calgary Alberta.

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Indoor Alberta Planting Calendar

In late January to early March you will want to begin growing your plants for this year's garden by seeding your onions (if you choose to grow them from seed), leeks, celery and peppers and tomatoes. If you wait much later you will most likely have beautiful plants that won't have time to bear much fruit in your Alberta vegetable garden, or in other similar northern climates. If you do not want to start these plants yourself I would suggest picking them up at a local greenhouse in May.

For a full guide on when to start plants indoors for zone 3 gardening and to find your free printable indoor seeding calendar, check out When to Start Seeds Indoors.

Seedlings started indoors for a zone 3 garden in Calgary Alberta Canada
Seedlings Growing Inside my House

In early May begin your squash, watermelon, cucumbers and brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) indoors. These should be planted in peat pots, (such as these ones from Amazon) or some use toilet paper rolls, as they do not like their roots being disturbed when they are transplanted. For transplanting make sure pots are good and wet and then cut the bottom off with scissors and plant the rest of the pot into the ground. The rest of the pot will decompose as the plant grow.

For the past couple years I have been experimenting with planting many of my garden vegetables earlier than I had previous years, aiming for the end of April vs. the third weekend in May as I had been doing. It is true that it in southern Alberta, we often experience snow and freezing temperatures over the May long weekend. Even so, many cool weather crops will withstand these temperatures and planting them early can add weeks to your growing season!

I have found that spinach especially likes the cold and can be planted outdoors as soon as your soil is workable. Yes, even if you are expecting more freezing temperatures and snow. Plant spinach in Alberta anytime in March or April for the best spinach crop.

Cool Weather Crops to Plant Outdoors in Alberta in Late April