Contact Me

Want to get in touch with the author of this blog? You can email dave @ {this website} dot com

83 replies on “Contact Me”

I wanted to know if the honeyberries would grow in the rainforest where I live (vancouver,bc). Which varitey would be ideal for my area.

Hi Dave,
Just wanted to know where we can buy some of these fruit trees in Alberta can you suggest nurseries?
I am in Whitecourt but grown up on and orchard in Oliver BC,, My dad sold the orchard in 2008 and now one of my dreams is to see those cherry trees in bloom again some day..

Hi Dave ,
I am newly retired and now have time to do things I never took the time for in the past. I want to grow a mini orchard and personal greenhouse in East Central Alberta (Wainwright). Am I crazy? Is it possible? I have light land, sandy with some clay. Rolling land with small hills. I want to grow a variety of fruit trees and some ornamental. One S.E. facing hillside is my preference. Any Ideas are greatly appreciated.

Ron: Not crazy at all! A great starting place would be to look at the U of S fruit program. Whatever they do there, you should be able to do at your place!

I bought a kit at Canadian Tire with a varity of bulbs it’s called Butterfly Garden Kit and a Hummingbird collection. My hubby built me a flower bed so all the dirt is fresh ( not frozen) I live in northern Alberta , FAIRVIEW I checked the forecast and apparently our crappy weather is done till fall?? lol is it correct, I haven’t the faintest idea??
I’m wondering if it will be ok if I plant the bulbs in my new flower bed??
Thank – You

Hi! I’m a new gardener ๐Ÿ™‚ This may sound a bit stupid…I bought two Tundra Honeyberrys last night and realised my mistake this morning, that I need a different variety. Could you recommend one? I’m new to this and do want the fruit production. Also, could you briefly explain pollinators (which I thought were bees and insects as opposed to plants).

Thank you.

Jackie: Berry Blue is a good pollinator for the U of S haskaps. Haskaps need another variety of haskap to cross-pollinate with. The bees do the pollinating – but varieties that can cross-pollinate well are called pollinators.

I just bought a house in grande prairie with good size of yard.I want to grow vegetable and flowers too.could you please guide me.what kind of flowers and vegetables are good according to the climate of grande prairie.

Karan: As far as vegetable gardens go, likely you can grow most everything in Grande Prairie that you can anywhere in Alberta. It’s the perennials that you need to be careful with. Be sure to choose shrubs and flowers that are hardy to at least zone 3a or 2b. Most nurseries can help you with that!

Hi Dave,
I live near Pine Lake as well….I am having trouble deciding which vines I should be planting and where I should plant them. I have;
A north facing trellis with only earl morning sun and a bed below with moist soil, about 10 feet high
A south facing trellis (on my barn) about 6 feet high with all day sun and a large planter below
And two small pot trellis that sit in full sun on the front step that are 3 feet high.
Any suggestions what would be best in these spots? I have thought about some Cathdral Bells, morning glorys, Sweet peas, or honey suckle vine. Maybe also a black eyed Susan?
I the past I have tried a clematis on the north facing trellis but have not had any luck with it coming back the next spring for three years in a row now. Thanks in advance for your help!

Callie: It is tough to find a climbing plant that thrives in the shade – but a kiwi might just be what you need. It can handle partial shade and there are some varieties that are very hardy. If it were me with a south facing trellis against a barn, I’d sure plant grapes. As for the other smaller ones, any of those you mentioned would be fine – depending on your preference!

Hi I am wondering if I can grow hazelnuts and if so which variety would you recommend for calgary. Thanks

April: Yes, you can grow hazelnuts in the Calgary area. The beaked hazelnut is hardy to zone 2a, so that should be fine in your area.

If you put down in floor heat lines such as PEX make sure that you lines are no more than 6 inches apart. Then cover with about 6 inches of small non crushed rock. Hook your pex piped up to a small pump and a header. Use a pellet stove or a Rocket Stove lined with brick (use only about 5 gallons of antifreeze and heat you green house starting March first. And you will have early veggies. I have done this and even at minus 30 pure water wasn’t froze anytime last year.

Hello, this is Poland speaking. Got some question about cherry. I,m looking for a small cherry bush. Would Carmine Jewel be good? It’s the only available in my country. BTW Have you ever tried to make wine using lornicera kamtschatica, honeyberry?

Andrzej – Yes, carmine jewel would be a great little cherry bush. I have one myself! And I have not personally made honeyberry wine, but I do know of some other folks who have. They say it’s fantastic!

Andrzej Well, I am also Polish and have, among other things, deep interest in gardening and local fruit trees. Actually, I know a lot about wisnie in Alberta, as much as one can know I dare to say. One of the less popular sour cherries here is Rose Cherry which is Polish Lutowka. I also know a lot about haskap (honeyberries).

Slav, Iโ€™m looking for a Lutowka Rose cherry tree. All four of my grandparents immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s from Poland, so in honor of my Polish heritage, I was hoping to grow this variety. I live in Nebraska in the United States, and I am having a difficult time finding a source for this tree. Do you know where I might find one in the United States? As I said, I am having a very difficult time locating a source for this tree, so I am hoping you can help me. Thank you, I appreciate any help you can give me.

Hi Dave, can you help me. My dark green veggies have been devastated by a small black bug. When I go near them they jump like fleas, in fact I can hear them rustling as they jump around.
Thanks Paul

Paul: Sounds like flea beetles to me… Prevention is the best cure for these guys, but once you have them, an insecticide is probably your only way to completely get rid of them.

I’m new to Alberta, in the Wetaskiwin area. From Atlantic Canada originally where I used to have a backyard garden. I understand Alberta is drier than what I’m used to and I’d like to know what the best vegetables or fruit to grow in my backyard. I’ve tilled an area of my yard which wasn’t a garden. The soil is black and clumps a little. What would you recommend.

Very interesting articles. Just an FYI – At BURNCO Landscape in Lethbridge we offer ammendments for soils such as , Peat Moss, Soil Pep (bark fines), composted steer manure,screened loam, and our own Garden Mix ready to use.These materials are carried as a bulk item and are very inexpensive and easy to use. We sell the products in any quantity from a teaspoon to a tandem load and welcome the weekend warriors and new gardeners!

Hi, I help coordinate a community garden in Springbrook, we are looking at starting a food/edible forest program at our garden and we are looking for advise on what kind of fruit trees/ bushes to grow. We would like a variety of native species and new varieties. what types would you recommend and where has good prices on them?

Hi there,

Just wondering where did you get your Arctic Kiwi trees from? My husband has been looking in our area (Cold Lake) and they are no where to be found in any of the green houses.

Thank you

I was wondering how many bags of steer crap I need for a 10 foot by 10 foot garden I needed for my garden

I was wondering how many bags of miracle grow I needed for a 10 foot by 10 foot garden I needed for my garden

Diane: The best time to transplant ferns is early spring – just as the new growth begins to show up.

Hello Dave, I really would like to have an update on your kiwi plants. We just planted some on the west side of a building. Not sure if it is a good place though. On the south would be better if, yes if they really do grow tall here in Alberta and we could make them like a canopy over our sitting area. What is your experience? Have you gotten much fruit yet?

Hi Anna: So far, my kiwis haven’t grow overly large. I have them planted in with my grapes on the south side of my garage, and the biggest they’ve grown for me is about 8 ft tall. The grapes grow much more – probably twice that easily in a season. If you’re looking for a canopy, grapes are probably the better way to go. And as for fruit, I’ve had nothing so far. (But I have had a couple of really good years for grapes!)

When we harvested our beets in early Sept. half had been eaten. We’ve grown beets for 3years and this is the first year this happened.what could have done this? Is it safe to eat the ones that have been partially chewed on?

are there courses you could recommend…I am looking at year round growing and setting up a greenhouse. I have the space and just not sure where to start
Thanks !

Kelly: Probably your best bet is to talk with other local growers or grower associations. Perhaps there is a community college that offers something? It depends on your location.

I’m 45 miles NW of Ed. near Gunn. I have a valiant and beta grape vine that are very productive.I’ve mashed up about 25 liters of grapes and tossed a couple of packs of yeast on them and waiting for results.
Does anyone make wine , I have trouble determining the acid content and how to adjust it.
I made the same effort 2 years ago and the wine is still too bitter to drink.

Hello Dave,

I want to build a PVC greenhouse, but I am having a lot of trouble finding a Canadian retailer that stocks suitable pieces of 20 foot schedule 40 PVC piping for hoops. Lots of them stock 10 foot pieces but not 20. Can you point me towards some?

Thanks you!

Doug: I bought mine several years ago, so I’m not sure who would stock them. I would try UFA and Co-op. If not them, maybe even try a plumbing wholesaler…

Greetings. Iโ€™m a professor working with a First Nation community in northern Ontario (rural remote fly inโ€“55 degrees latitude). They have been trying to build local food capacity with some community garden efforts. They are interested in building a greenhouse. I have a small amount of funds to assist. I saw your DIY hoop-style greenhouse. The supplies need to shipped to the community so I am trying to do this as affordably as possible. Do you believe this would be a good option for a northern community? Thanks in advance. Michael

Michael: I think this could be a good option – particularly if you were able to add an inexpensive method of heating it a bit. Without the added heat, this really only extends the normal growing season by a few weeks. But with just a small amount of heat, you could really lengthen your season. Also, for a community project, you might want to increase the overall length of the structure (which is easily done) but then you’d probably want to build it so that the sides could roll up for ventilation (which should also be fairly easy to do!) If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me!

David C: Yeah, I haven’t been able to find them recently either… My supplier doesn’t carry them anymore.

I started tomato plants indoors perhaps too early. Now I want to put them in a rather poorly insulated green house. What minimum temp do you need before putting tomato plants in a greenhouse? And what average temps are needed to keep growth going?
Thanks in advance

Raylene: I think as long as you keep the greenhouse temperature above freezing a few degrees, they will survive. They probably prefer a minimum temperature of about 12-15 degrees. But be sure to harden them off first before you put them out. That’s key!

Have a brookgold plum every year it sets fruit until they get the size of a BB or a bit bigger then they all abort fall off we have a nanking cheery for pollinating if you had any ideas it would be greatly appreciated thinking of pulling it out have several varieties of cheeries and apples doing well. live at Clive northeast of Red Deer

R Kershaw: I bought it from a local nursery that has since gone out of business. It does require another variety for pollination.

I have my garden boxes all built–now I just need the soil. I am having trouble finding vermiculite. We live near Calgary. Where would you recommend?

Hi, Dave: We had to trim our Concord Grape plant back to the wood as we were re-doing our deck this spring. We have a lot of leaves, but no fruit. We,ve always had a lot of fruit until this year. Is it taking a year off because of the deep trim or have we ruined it? The vine is about 8-9 years old. Thanks.

Marj: Grapes only grow fruit on one-year old wood. So the new shoots from last year is what will flower and grow grapes. Chances are, these shoots are likely what got trimmed off. So whatever grows new this year will flower and fruit next year.

Dave, I would really like to open a conversation with you. I live in edmonton, and am curious about how your greenhouse has performed. If you are close I would love to see your setup. I am interested to know about how you have dealt with the temperature swings. If you have time I would love to hear from you. I will be constructing a greenhouse in the next few weeks, and would be interested in any information you are willing to impart. Thanks, Kyle.

Where exactly in Central Alberta … close to Calgary? and what kind of kiwi are you growing … looking at the T&T catalogue and they have a couple of different kinds … I have tried artic kiwi collection but lost a couple of the vines so I’m not sure what kind would work best

Andrew: Sorry – can’t help you on that one. I bought bare-root plants from T & T Seeds. And I don’t think even they have that variety anymore.

Hi Dave.
I would love to speak with you directly.
I am on the Board of Directors of both Haskap Canada and also Haskap Alberta.
We are always looking for new members… please contact me directly at 780-803-8808
Maybe we could ad our Haskap link to your site also
I am looking forward to hearing back from you.

I have two poinsettia plants that are still in great shape. Can they now be put outside to brighten my garden?. I realize they are nor perennial here just wondered if I could enjoy them outside. If so, what light would they need? Semi-shade.or no sun since they have been inside up until now.I have never had these plants last so long. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Alice: You could plant them outside during the summer months. Morning sun and afternoon shade would probably be best. But they don’t really like extreme temperatures so I’m not sure they’ll flourish around here! But you can always try!

My husband and I just built the 12โ€™x32โ€™ hoop greenhouse. We were curious if there was any specific reason you used Northern Greenhouse for the 11 mil plastic? We found another place that offers 11 mil for half the cost. Curious if there is a big difference in these plastics. Thanks for your input.

KatSki: When I was looking (and this was a few years ago) Northern Greenhouse was the only place that I found in Canada that offered the 11mil woven poly. If you wanted to share where you found another source, I’d be curious myself to see if there are any differences.

I’m getting ready to transition to a lot more edible landscaping — maybe food forest style. What have been your favourite fruits flavor-wise? And most reliable? What would be your top picks when space requires me to narrow it down?

Alissa: Here’s the necessities in my garden. #1. Raspberries. My favourite flavour and very reliable. If I could plant only one thing – this would be it. #2. Strawberries – close behind raspberries. #3. Plums. Certain varieties are hit-and-miss, but I’ve found the Pembina plum reliable and delicious. #4. Haskaps. Tasty berries – reliable so long as the bird don’t find them first. Netting solves this problem. #5. Saskatoons. I personally don’t grow these because my brother has a u-pick! But there are hardy, reliable, and delicious!

Hi I just discovered your site. I live in Calgary, and have a very small space for gardening in my well treed yard. I would like to suggest you try Aunt Molly’s ground cherries. They grow like tomatos, and are very like cape gooseberries. I grew them in 2017 and they produced very well with some very tasty, plump, yellow berries inside papery husks. I highly recommend them as an easy to grow tasty fruit for the prairies.

Re Tomatoes

I live in Cochrane, and grew 6 tomatoes ( 3 Roma, 2 sweet 100 and one Beefsteak) in large black pots. The sweet 100 are loaded and delicious, the Romas and beefstks are huge but seem to be developing a black bottom. I water only directly into the pot, not top down. Could you explain to me what this is and why?? I water them 3 times a day as they start to wilt when we have the heat otherwise only once a day. thanks for your help Lucia

Hi I have some land in mackenzie bc I believe its the 55th parallel can you tell me about hazelnut production in the north is it possible ? Do you know any Angel Investors who want to get 44 hectares more or less producing hazelnuts? or another great crop? I would like it to becoe an integrated famr/orchard with maybe some grazing animals or some useful ground crop in between who knows maybe a bison herd ? 44 hectares is pretty big and I’m honestly not making it renting it to campers. It has great roads built on it and cleared sites that are gravelled. it would need to be mulched to be planted. there has never been any industrial o this land not even an outhouse dug. lol but it also has a great water supply even a culvert well set up to pump its water out. hazelnuts? big incentives for that in bc right now

Hi Dave, Thank you for the great plans. We built a 12’x32′ hoop house similar to yours and put PVC sticks down each side as well as down the center. Do you have any suggestions on stabilizing it more for strong winds? Yesterday the wind was gusting 50mph and although the greenhouse never moved, the PVC was swaying from side to side quite a bit to the point that I realized I might need to stop it from swaying so much. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Dan – Yes, I’ve later added a 2×4 beam down the centre to give it a bit more stable. Worked really well!

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