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Saskatchewan Planting Zones

The landlocked province of Saskatchewan is known for its rolling hills, countless lakes, sand dunes, and flat prairies. The region stretches across five different planting zones (0, 1, 2, 3, and 4), with most of the province sitting between 2a and 3b.

In this article, you will learn:

Canadian growing zones are determined by analyzing seven different climate variables that affect a plant’s growth, such as snow depth, maximum temperatures, frost-free days, and more. It’s important to note that these planting zones cannot be used interchangeably with the USDA system, which only accounts for annual minimum temperatures.

Image from Natural Resources Canada

Characteristics of Saskatchewan Planting Region

Saskatchewan has a continental climate and experiences more sunshine throughout the year than most Canadian provinces. However, the weather is diverse and challenging, and the region is known to have one of the most variable climates in the world. Extreme weather events are not uncommon, and the province can experience drastic temperature changes, droughts, thunderstorms, blizzards, and tornadoes.

The province can be divided into three distinct climate regions:

1. Northern Saskatchewan

This region experiences a subarctic climate with short cool summers and long, frigid winters.

 

2. Central and Eastern Saskatchewan

The central area of the province has a humid continental climate characterized by warm to hot summers and cold winters with moderate snowfall.

Image from Natural Resources Canada

3. Southwestern Saskatchewan

The lower part of the region experiences a semi-arid climate. The conditions are warmer and drier throughout the year, with longer summers and milder winters.

Image from Natural Resources Canada

The growing season is relatively short in Saskatchewan. On average, the frost-free period will begin towards the end of May and end around mid-September. However, this will vary across the region, so it’s best to check the frost-free dates for your specific location.

Challenges of Growing in Saskatchewan

1. Short growing season

The limited growing time frame means that many plants will be unable to reach full maturity before the frost-free season is over. A combination of indoor growing and outdoor growing may be necessary to maximize your planting season.

2. Extreme weather

Extreme and unpredictable weather events in this region make growing a successful garden in Saskatchewan quite challenging. Protective coverings or indoor gardening may be necessary to keep your plants out of harm’s way.

3. Temperature changes

Even the hardiest plants may struggle to survive through the drastic temperature changes in this region. Indoor growing is suggested to help regulate growing temperatures and ensure your garden thrives.

 

Indian Head, Saskatchewan, Canada | Photo by Dan Loran on Unsplash

The Benefits of Using a Greenhouse in Saskatchewan

There are several key benefits to using a greenhouse for your garden in Saskatchewan. It will provide protection from temperamental weather, regulate temperatures indoors, and harness the power of the sun in this region to help extend your growing season well beyond the summer months.

1. Extend your Growing Season

  • Without a Greenhouse:
    Gardeners can expect a limited growing season of 2-4 months across the province of Saskatchewan. Early frosts and a colder climate mean many gardeners will struggle to find ways to extend this season without some form of indoor growing.
  • With a Greenhouse:
    Extend your planting season by several months with a greenhouse. Enjoy up to 7-9 months of extended growing season versus the shorter planting timeframe in Saskatchewan. A greenhouse will work wonderfully in this region, allowing you to grow and harvest delicious vegetables well into the cold winter months.

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


   

Customer images of the Sungrow greenhouse in similar climates within Canada | left: Athabasca, Alberta, right: Thunder Bay, Ontario

2. Grow a Wider Variety of Vegetables

  • Without a Greenhouse:
    Outdoor gardeners are very limited in their planting options, regardless of the time of year. While the following cold-hardy vegetables grow well across the province, further north, you may have to use indoor growing and transplant these vegetables at a later date.
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Turnips
  • Beets

 

  • With a Greenhouse:
    Despite the short growing season and cold weather in Saskatchewan, greenhouse gardeners can enjoy a variety of tasty vegetable options. Push the limits of a planting season with some of the following plants:
  • Celery
  • Leeks
  • Spanish Onions
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Basil
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Onions
  • Okra
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkins
  • Squash
  • Tomatillos
  • Melons
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Corn
  • Gourds
  • Cowpeas

Raised garden beds | Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash

 

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