Spring is finally in the air and days are getting longer and warmer. It’s still way too early to start planting seeds outdoors but it’s never too early to start thinking about what types of trees or shrubs could grace your yard this year.
It’s a real treat to eat fresh fruit that you’ve grown yourself. While Calgary isn’t usually known as a fruit growing area, there are certain types of fruit trees that do well in Calgary’s Zone 3 climate. If you can’t wait for your next trip to the Okanagan to enjoy fruit fresh off the tree, you could try growing some yourself in your own yard.
Back in the days when everyone knew how to can, growing fruit trees and berry bushes was pretty common across the prairies. What didn’t get eaten during the late summer was often made into jam. Backyard orcharding went out of style for many years, but there’s now renewed interest in growing fruit at home.
Here are some fruit trees that grow well in and around Calgary:
Norland Apple – fruits early and produces excellent eating apples that store well.
Prairie Sensation – this hardy dessert apple was developed at the University of Saskatchewan.
M360 – good eating apple that will last up to six months in storage.
Alberta Gold – produces gold and yellow apples that look like Golden Delicious.
Alberta Red – large, red apples that are excellent to eat.
Goodland – this is an Alberta favourite that freezes and stores very well.
Certain pears also grow well in Calgary:
Golden Spice – ripens in mid to late September. As the name suggests, this pear has a spicy taste.
Early Gold Pear – produces small pears that are ready to eat in early September.
John Pear – bears yellow green pears that are ready in late September.
If you love plums, the Brookgold Plum produces delicious, yellow, translucent fruit that is ready in late August.