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Nova Scotia Planting Zones

The beautiful province of Nova Scotia is known for its low mountain ranges, lakes and river valleys, forests, and varied coastline. The region hosts two different planting zones (5 and 6), and the average minimum temperature tends to range between 8.6 and 19.4° F (-13° and -7° C) across the region.

In this article, you will learn:


It’s important to note that, unlike the USDA-identified planting zones that rely solely on annual average minimum temperatures, the Canadian zones are established by considering a more comprehensive range of climatic variables such as frost-free periods, rainfall, snowfall, and more.

Image from Natural Resources Canada

Characteristics of Nova Scotia Planting Region

Nova Scotia’s climate is considered slightly continental and is generally characterized by warm, rainy summers and very cold, snowy winters. The close proximity to the ocean means the region will also regularly experience the following:

  • Snow Storms
  • Heatwaves
  • Cold snaps
  • High winds
  • High rainfall

Additionally, the growing season typically lasts between 2.5 and 5.5 months between early May and mid-October, but it’s always best to check the specific frost dates for your area


Arial view of Nova Scotia, Canada

Challenges of Growing in Nova Scotia

1. Short Growing Season

The brief planting season presents a range of difficulties for gardeners in this region. Many plants will struggle to mature in time without some form of indoor growing, and gardeners may have to limit themselves to more cool-hardy vegetables to avoid damage from the annual frosts.

2. Temperature Fluctuations

The ocean-influenced temperature fluctuations can damage your plants if too abrupt and extreme. Nova Scotia is no stranger to heatwaves and cold snaps, so it’s always best to be prepared with a protective enclosure or covering for your garden.

3.Heavy Precipitation

Rainy summers and snowy winters mean most of Nova Scotia experiences plenty of precipitation. Unfortunately, too much wetness can injure tender crops, wash away soil from their roots, and become a breeding ground for bacterial and fungal issues. Raised garden beds and indoor gardening are both recommended to combat any potential problems.


Pleasant Bay, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

The Benefits of Using a Greenhouse in Nova Scotia

A greenhouse is a fantastic way to extend your growing season, protect your garden from heavy precipitation, and regulate the environment during temperature fluctuations. In addition, gardeners will be able to experiment with a variety of plants that may struggle to survive outdoors in this province.

1. Extend your Growing Season

  • Without a Greenhouse:
    The standard outdoor growing season in Nova Scotia lasts anywhere between 81 and 160 days, depending on what part of the province you’re located. However, the relatively short planting season and mild climate conditions present a range of difficulties for outdoor gardeners. Many plants will require an element of indoor growing to mature in time for the first frost of the season.

  • With a Greenhouse:
    Greenhouse growing will help extend your growing season to 7-9 months and potentially year-round in more moderate areas of the province. Gardeners in this region will also be able to plant more long-season and warm-weather vegetables and not have to worry about temperamental weather or early frosts. 

Learn more about specific growing dates for your area and the best vegetables to plant in each part of Nova Scotia.

  Customer image from Beaver Bank, Nova Scotia

1. Grow a Wider Variety of Vegetables 

  • Without a Greenhouse:
    The short growing season of this province coupled with unpredictable temperature fluctuations means many outdoor gardeners will need to opt for cool-hardy and short-season plants. Some of the vegetables recommended for the Nova Scotia climate include:
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Onions
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Turnips
  • Kohlrabi

  • With a Greenhouse:
    A Planta Greenhouse will allow gardeners to expand their growing options and experiment with a much wider variety of plants. Some of the vegetables known to flourish in a greenhouse in this region include:
    • Parsley
    • Carrots
    • Celery
    • Tomatoes
    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Cabbage
    • Zucchini
    • Pumpkin
    • Cucumber
    • Brussel Sprouts
    • Green Onion
    • Peppers
    • Potatoes
    • Squash
    • Swiss Chard
    • Watermelon
    • Basil
    • Asparagus
    • Beans
    • Rhubarb
    • Chives
    • Rosemary


    Greenhouse tomatoes

    Why Planta Greenhouses?

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