Chinook Landscaping and Design – Landscaping Calgary Specialists
Calgary, Alberta
403-452-8552
Mon-Fri 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM.
28 Mar 2019

Is a city of Calgary tree on your property?

Is a city of Calgary tree on your property?  The city of Calgary has planted thousands of trees throughout the city.  The city of Calgary trees are located on what may seem your property but they are actually on city owned landed that fronts your property.  City of Calgary homeowners are not allowed to remove a city tree even though it may appear to be on your property, without consent from the City of Calgary parks.  You can see what portion of your property is owned by the city by checking your RPR or Real Property Report.  The BOW shows where your property ends and where city property begins.  You can call the city at 311 to have them determine if the tree in question is a City of Calgary tree

Quite often we find that the most common tree homeowners want to remove are poplar trees.  Poplar trees were planted throughout the 1960′ and 70’s in Calgary’s older neighbourhoods like Lake Bonavista, Acadia and many others.  The Poplar trees are now huge trees that can cause lots of damage to lawns, driveways and sidewalks.  Their extensive root systems can lift concrete and even break concrete structures.  As well, the poplars are very fragile trees for their size so after a windstorm you will find branches strewn all over lawns and city streets.  Some branches are heavy enough to damage vehicles.  This poplar was not a good species for the city to plant and I am sure they regret it now.  Regardless of the poplar trees drawbacks, removing poplar trees in Calgary can be quite an ordeal if they are on City property.

Read more about problems with poplar trees

Here are the City of Calgary’s conditions for removing a city Poplar tree.

Poplar tree removal conditions

These are the conditions that must be met:

  • The poplar concern cannot be easily remedied through other means and is of significant nuisance.
  • The Poplar tree must be a city tree and are typically planted on city boulevards or frontage of your personal property.
  • Even though the poplar trees is the City of Calgary tree, the homeowner mist pay for all removal costs.
  • The homeowner is responsible for planting a new tree in place of the old poplar tree
  • Tree removal must be done by City of Calgary parks.
  • A survey of twenty residences must be completed.  Ten residences across the street from your property and five residences on either side of your property.  Your neighbours must sign the survey and express whether they want the tree to stay or be removed.

Read the full list of conditions here removing Poplar trees in Calgary

Make sure to do your due diligence to find out if a City of Calgary tree is on your property. Check out our trees Calgary page to view photos of trees that would be suitable to plant in you front or back yard.

 

 

24 Mar 2019

What is the best time to prune trees and shrubs in Calgary?

When it comes to maintaining yards, gardens or orchards, pruning always pops up in our minds. Though done when required, the timing of the practice usually matters a lot. Some have opted to prune as early as spring after snow has cleared while other have waited for mid-fall. Regardless of the window you might take chance of, it will solely depend on the type of plant, be it a tree or a shrub, and whether they blossom in spring or summer.

Nonetheless,pruning is importantbecause of obvious reasons like it enables rejuvenation of plants and aids in weeding out affected, unwanted and unproductive parts, thus increasing the potentiality of the plant.

With that in mind, occasional yard clean-up, care and maintenance is crucial but what is the best time to prune trees and shrubs in Calgary? Fear not as we will reasonably discuss the times to do this at home.

Best times to prune in Calgary

In Calgary, plants behave differently in seasons with the exception of evergreens. There are those that are active during spring and become dormant when winter comes. The ideal time to prune those trees would then be within that period of dormancy. Why? Because the plant, as the name suggest, is dormant; shutting down for ‘renovation’.

After the leaves have all fallen and signs of hibernation are existent, sharpen your tools and cut what is not needed. This period is advantageous because the plants experience no stress and there is minimal chance for them to get infection or fungus after mid-October.

In the case of pruning your shrubs and trees during mid-spring, you will also be able to notice branches with buds and those that don’t have. Thus, it will be easy to select the unproductive parts and do away with them. If you have ornamental grasses as part of your landscaping it is best to leave the growth on over winter time.  These grasses are as attractive in winter as they are in spring.  Learn about pruning Karl forester feather reed grass

Check out this page If you are interested in learning more about specific ornamental grasses ideal for Canadian climates

For evergreen shrubs and treesof course, they can be pruned anytime of the year. They usually require little to no pruning. For flowering shrubs, try pruning them during early spring and avoid pruning them when winter approaches, around late September. This way, you will avoid making them vulnerable to winter frost conditions as their wounds wouldn’t have recuperated or hardened by then.

In Calgary, mid-fall has been the perfect time to trim perennial trees such as birch and maple simply because they reproduce during winter, among other reasons. But other trees like spruce, junipers, crabapple and popular are well suited for pruning during winter. So why should you clip and trim your trees and shrubs during mid-fall towards winter?

  • Fungal diseases, infections and pests are usually dormant making it easy for their eradication.
  • The plant will face no stress and sap loss will be curbed.
  • At this point, plants are not budding so no new life will be lost when trimming
  • The structure of the plant is visible enough after leaves have fallen thus making it easy to identify what can be cut off and what can’t.
  • When pruning at this period, few branches will be left, enabling the roots to reserve more food and energy for new growth and life in the coming season.

Remember it is important to take care of your trees and shrubs 

by giving them fertilizer and watering.  Fall watering is very important and can make all the difference in the health of your trees and shrubs come spring time,

If you look forward to trimming down overgrown shrubs and trees that might be costly in the event of storms in Calgary, or just want to increase the aesthetics of your yard with well-shaped and well-kept hedges, shrubs and trees, sharpen your tools and start pruning your plants at the right time. When difficulty arises, as it always does especially where powerlines are near the home area, consults your landscaping Calgary specialistsi.  

24 Mar 2019

Pruning Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass

Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass are a very attractive ornamental grass that grows very well in Calgary.  Pruning Karl foerster feather reed grass should be left until late spring.  The dead stalks are attractive and add interest to your landscape if left over winter time.  Karl foerster are very easy to prune, much easier in fact than most other shrubs.

How to prune a Karl Foerster

As we mentioned earlier it is best to leave your Karl foerster un pruned until late spring.  This will preserve the beautiful stalks over winter.  Pruning a Karl foerster feather reed grass is quick and easy and can be made even easier if you use a bunny cord or rope.  Simply tie the cord around the base of the Karl Foerster and then trim below it.  We recommend trimming about 6 inches up from the base of the grass.  When you are finished you should be left with a tidy bundle of stalks.  Discard these stalks in your composting bin and you are done.

There are many other ornamental grasses that are ideal for Calgary’s climate.  To learn more about ornamental grasses visit Ornamental grasses ideal for Canadian Climates

Find out why we are landscaping Calgary specialists.  Give us a call to discuss your landscaping project.

Ph: 403-452-8552

18 Mar 2019

Ornamental Grasses ideal for Canadian Climates

 

Ornamental grasses are a beautiful way to add a soft, natural look to almost any landscape.  Ornamental grasses are ideal for Canadian climates.  There are many popular grasses that grow well in Canada and Calgary’s climate.  The great thing about these grasses is they are extremely hardy and so the chance of winter kill is very rare.  Grasses are also drought tolerant and need far less moisture than most other shrubs and perennials.  Ornamental grasses are also very low maintenance.  Here are some ornamental grasses ideal for Canadian climates.

Karl foerster reed grass

Karl foerster reed grass is the most popular ornamental grass we plant in Calgary.  It is very drought tolerant and low maintenance.  The Karl foerster provides great colour year round.  They have beautiful seed heads that can be left on during the winter to provide lovely fall and winter colour.  Once spring arrives you can simply cut them back in spring and wait for the new growth to appear.  Karl foerster can grow to over 6 feet in some cases and look best when planted in groups of odd numbers.  For photos of Karl Foerster reed grass visit  shrubs Calgary  

Watch our video on Pruning your Karl Foerster feather reed grass

 

Avalanche reed grass and overdam reed grass. 

If you are looking for a little more colour and variation in your ornamental grass, you can consider avalanche reed grass and overdam reed grass.  The blades on these grasses are variegated meaning they have a mix of green and cream white.  These grasses are also very rough tolerant and in some cases can be left throughout the summer with little or no tap watering required.  Both the avalanche reed grass and the
overdam reed grass will not grow as tall as Karl Forester but will grow to a similar width.  Like other ornamental grasses, they look best in groupings.  We prefer to group them in odd numbers of three or five plants.


Blue Oat grass

Blue oat grass is one of our favourite ornamental grasses ideal for Canadian climates.  Blue oat grass has a rich grey blue colour that compliments any garden bed.  They are a lower, mound growing form of ornamental grass that look great in a modern or traditional landscape.  We often use them in a modern landscaping Calgary project as they give a feel of modern Palm springs or Palm desert homes.  From a distance, they can be mistaken for a type of dessert cactus that is popular in gardens throughout the Phoenix and Palm spring areas. Blue oat grass are super hardy and super tough early handling our Calgary winters.  Their blades can be left on in the winter to provide winter interest in your landscaping.  Like the Karl Forester it is best to prune the dead growth back once spring arrives.

Fescue grass

Fescue ornamental grass is a dwarf ornamental grass that is much smaller than the grasses mentioned earlier.  Fescue grass looks great bordering garden beds when placed in the front.  Fescue requires very little water throughout the summer and they are very low maintenance.  These grasses are often used more as ground cover rather than as feature plantings.   Fescue grasses come in different colours and add great highlights to your low maintenance landscaping  If you are planning on including fescue grass for your landscaping project please remember that they can tend to seed easily.  This means they can take root in other areas of your garden bed and will eventually need to be thinned out.

 

 

12 Mar 2019

Landscaping ideas for Calgary gardens

Garden beds can become overgrown, tired looking and outdated if you don’t keep on top of the plant growth. We would like to offer you some landscaping ideas for your Calgary gardens that will help get your gardens looking great again.  There are some basic and inexpensive things you can do to spruce up the look of your gardens.

Define your borders!

Defining your borders is one of the most important landscaping ideas for your Calgary gardens.  Grass from your lawn over time will grow into your garden beds and/or your garden bed plants will encroach on your lawn.  We see this everywhere in Calgary gardens and often one of our first tasks as a landscaper is clean the borders up.  The simplest and least expensive method to define your borders is of course by using a natural spade edge.  This is done by simply taking a spade and edging around your border.  Make sure to dig the full depth of the spade ( about 5 inches ) in order to have a long lasting border. Remove the old sod or plant material from the area you edged and discard.  A spade edge is a great option of you are on a budget.  A big draw back to a natural spade edge is that over time the grass or plants can grow back into your spade edge.  In order to prevent this you will need to re-edge annually.  If you are looking for a more permanent solution, you can consider installing a vinyl edge, mowing pavers or a raised garden wall.  These are more expensive options for landscaping ideas for Calgary gardens than a natural spade edge but this solution will last much longer over time.  It will also save you a lot of labour.

Thin out overgrown or unwanted plants

Overgrown plantings are nut unusual if your garden has not been maintained properly.  In order to thin out overgrown or unwanted plants you will will need to decide whether to just prune them back or to remove the plant in its entirety.  Start this process by first establishing if your plant is healthy or not.  If it is unhealthy then it is probably best to remove it from your garden.  Some types of plants look great when they are compact but when they are overgrown they can tend to look ragged and weed like.  You can start by pruning them back then step back and take look to see if that creates a nicer visual appeal.  If they still don’t look good then simply remove all of the plant.  After you thin out overgrown or unwanted plants you may be left with larger open areas than you initially envisioned.  If you like you can choose to plant some replacement shrubs in these areas.

Group your new plantings

We have found that most gardens look best if we group our new plantings.  Grouping you new plantings means using several plants of the same variety in your garden.  So, for example, in a garden bed you could plant three Karl forester grass, three Cherry bomb barberry and two Calgary carpet junipers.  This looks better than eight plants of different varieties.  If you group your new plantings you will notice they look more orderly and natural and grouping will draw your eye to these areas where the colour is concentrated. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder of course so grouping plants may not be for you.  The vast majority of our customers prefer plant grouping and it is one of our favourites for landscaping ideas for Calgary gardens.

Plant perennial gardens separately from shrub gardens

Mixing perennial and shrub gardens is not always a good idea especially if you are going to use a weed barrier for your garden areas.  Perennials require much more maintenance than shrubs.  Perennials come up again from the soil each spring so you do not want to restrict their growth with the landscaping fabric.  We often recommend that customers have separate beds for perennials and shrubs.  This allows you to work your perennial garden including weeding and cutting back perennials. Shrubs do not require as much room to work around and often they won’t require maintenance for many years.  Shrubs can be left alone aside from watering and occasional pruning.  So you can apply a layer of landscaping fabric to your shrub beds and enjoy a mainly weed free garden.  If you want a very low maintenance garden then you may want to choose only trees and shrubs at your plantings.  If you enjoy working your garden and pruning, weeding or turning the soil then plant perennials.

 

Give your garden beds a fresh topping

Adding a wood, rubber or stone mulch to your garden beds can make all the difference in the overall look.  If you are going to add a mulch topping of any sort you may want to include a weed barrier around the plants before adding the topping. This weed barrier or landscaping fabric will greatly reduce the amount of weeds you have in your garden. Make sure to tuck your fabric in around the base of the shrub so weeds will not encroach on the base of your shrub.   You can choose a wood mulch with options such as cedar mulch, bark mulch, bark nuggets or black mulch.  There are endless options for stone mulch.  Some stone mulch include 20 or 40 mm Rundle rock, rainbow rock, limestone and tan washed rock

Visit these pages for more landscaping ideas for Calgary gardens

Shrubs Calgary – Pictures of shrubs that grow well in Calgary
Trees Calgary– Pictures of trees that grow well in Calgary
Yardsmart and the Calgary Horticultural Society
Garden bed edging

Download our handy materials calculator app at the apple app store

ChinookLandscaping by ZealousWeb Technologies
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/chinooklandscaping/id786154404?mt=8

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Call us for your free consultation and estimate
Ph: 403-452-8552

 

10 Mar 2019

The best eating apple trees to grow in Calgary

The best eating apple trees to grow in Calgary

Calgary is a region with its own inimitable expression of weather; experiencing startling winter conditions even after a sunny moment, and not forgetting the notorious chinook. However, and surprisingly enough, many tree species have thrived in such environments. To put this into perspective, tens of thousands of fruit bearing trees have existed in Calgary, blessing folks with the benefits that come with them like edible, healthy-rich fruits.  There are many other fruit trees that grow well in Calgary  but we think an apple trees will give you the largest yield of all fruit trees.  There are a number of apple trees that can thrive in Calgary and become options for homeowners to ponder on. If you enjoy eating apples, here are some of the apple plant trees that do well in Zone 3 climate.

Norland apple

Norland apple tree is a multicolored tree in itself; with its leaves and flowers changing colors on seasons. It is one of the best eating apple trees to grow in Calgary.  At the start of spring, its flower buds blossom in pink and midway, the buds turn into white flowers with pink overtones throughout the branches. Also, in fall, their green pointy leaves become yellow in colour, hence showing you how your yard can’t lack in color and bliss year round.

With the help of pollinators like bees, the deciduous tree bears chartreuse crunchy apples in early fall, which are usually characterized by a red blush when ripe. Inside, the crispy apples are white in color.

Since they are great producers, it is prudent to pick them as early as possible before they ruin the yard and walkways. The Norland apples can also be prematurely picked before ripening as they can be stored well. They can be freshly eaten or cooked.

Notably, when growing the Norland apple treein Calgary, provide sufficient sunlight, space for spreading and a moist condition.

Prairie sensation

The Prairie sensation is a new type of apple available in Calgary. It finds its origin In the University of Saskatoon  where it was developed to endure the severe prairie climate. However, its flowering and foliage characteristics are still similar to that of Norland apple tree.

The also deciduous plant tree produces crispy apples in large amounts between late summer and early fall. The apples are usually red with a crimson, green blush. Inside, they have sweet white juicy flesh. These apples are usually of high quality and perfect for fresh eating, cooking and baking.

The apples produced can be as large as 8.5 cm in diameter. To ensure growth of such large sized apples, pruning and thinning of the tree is important. Also, since they are generously produced, it is wise to pick them and store them before they fully ripen. This will similarly prevent the yard from being messy because of fallen apples.

Since the apple tree is of high maintenance, it requires a second pollinator. When growing in Calgary, it should be provided with full sunlight, moist conditions and space for spreading.

Goodland apples

This is another bountiful apple treethat is great for your orchard in Calgary. Goodland apples have excellent edible qualities being characterized by light green color and round shape.

Sharing the same overtones as the Norland apple tree throughout the seasons, it yields fleshy white apples between late summer and early fall in plenty. The apples are usually of good size (6-8 centimeters in diameter) and can be stored up to 20 weeks in a cool dry place.

The crispy, flavorful Goodland apples can be freshly eaten, cooked or made as apple sauce. In Calgary, they serve as recipes when making sweet side dishes or homemade desserts.

Winter Cheeks

This is another hardy apple that comes to life in mid-September in Calgary. The Winter Cheek Apple tree is a variety that is disease resistant and shares same features as the Norland apple tree all year long.

The winter cheeks apple are red in color. They are also very fleshy, crisp and sweet making them edible when fresh. Furthermore, they can be of use when cooked or baked. Their edible qualities make them idea for such purposes.

Alberta Gold

Going by the name, Alberta Gold apples are usually goldish in color or preferably yellow. If you are a fan of gold-lit thing, this is for you. The Alberta Gold produces crispy apple fruits that taste juicy and sweet to the tongue buds.

The Alberta gold apple can be enjoyed as fresh fruits and can also be cooked. The apples can be picked and stored for 12 weeks under cool and dry conditions.

M360

Though the name may seem techy, this is another natural apple tree that can grow well and produce fruits in Calgary. M360 apples are also juicy and sweet and ideal for desserts such as apple pies.

The M360 apple trees produce fruits that can be stored for as long as six month.

 

There are many other trees to choose from for the best eating apple trees in Calgary.  If you looking to eat healthy apples year in and year out while keeping the doctor away, consider the apple trees above which well in Calgary. They will also prove worthwhile as attractive features in your garden.  Visit our trees Calgary  gallery to view more trees that grow well in Calgary.

 

07 Mar 2019

Chinook Landscaping Calgary

In this video David Abbott discuss various key components of landscaping in Calgary. Chinook Landscaping and Design has been involved in and created some unique and interesting projects.  Landscaping is our passion and Chinook Landscaping Calgary loves to landscape and it shows!

In this video we discuss:

Front steps, more than just something to step on

Typical concrete front steps are everywhere in Calgary and quite frankly they can be quite boring.  Considering the front step is the entrance to your home it is important to dress it up a little and welcome visitors with something other than boring cold sterile concrete.  The front steps we built for this project were built with tumbled roman Pisa stone.  Inset in the steps are roman euro paving stones.  The front paving stone patio approaching the steps where made with similar matching materials as the steps.

Roman Euro mowing pavers help define your borders.

Using a paving stone border around your garden beds is a great way to define your borders.  Defining your borders is key to a great looking landscape.  Mowing pavers make it easy to mow right over your lawn without the hassle of having to trim around raised border edges.  Our paving stones are installed with a compacted gravel base that helps prevent frost heaves in the winter time.  It is very important to have a proper base under your paving stones or you will end up with uneven pavers in a very short time.  We install polymer sand in-between our mowing pavers to help keep the weeds and grass from growing in between the pavers.

Trafalgar Paving stones make for a great looking paving stone patio

A beautiful paving stone patio is the focal point to most back or front yard landscapes.  Paving stones are more costly than concrete and exposed aggregate but the look is much more attractive.  For this project Chinook Landscaping Calgary installed Trafalgar paving stones and implemented a unique application of cutting the paving stones around the beautiful backyard tree.  The trafalgar paving stones have a classic timeless look that will not become outdated in the future.  Again, we used polymer and in between the paving stones to prevent weed growth.

Fences are the back drop to your landscape.

Many people focus on their landscaping and forget about one of the key components to their landscaping.  The backdrop of your landscaping is your fence so make it a beautiful, long lasting fence that will compliment your existing landscaping.  Most landscaping companies use 4 x 4 fence posts for their fence installations but at Chinook Landscaping Calgary we insist on either 4 x 6 or 6 x 6 posts.  The fence posts are the spine of your fence and installing flimsy 4 x 4 posts will mean you have a weak fence, especially in Calgary’s freeze and thaw climate.  Installing 4 x 6 or 6 x 6 fence posts will insure your fence will stay upright and solid for years to come.  Fences are a very important part of your landscaping both for aesthetics and for security.

Chinook Landscaping Calgary is your one stop for unique, long lasting and beautiful landscapes.  Call us today for your free onsite consultation.  Ph: 403-452-8552 or visit our estimates page.

 

07 Mar 2019

Arbors and Pergolas for your front or back yard

Wood features are a great way to soften the look of your landscaping.  Arbors and Pergolas can give you that soft touch and arbors and pergolas for your front or back yard can be a practical landscaping feature too.

Whats the difference between an Arbor and Pergola?

Some of our Calgary clients are confused by the difference between an arbor and a pergola.  The differences are quite clear really.  An arbor is typically much smaller than a pergola.  An arbor is often used for a garden accent or as an archway over your front or backyard entrance.  A pergola is normally used over top of a patio or siting area to provide shade and/or privacy.  A pergola normally has numerous large cross beams whereas an arbor may only have a two or three.  Read more about arbors and pergolas for your front or back yard.

Pergolas for shade and More

Pergolas for shade are quite common in Calgary.  They are very useful in blocking much of the sunlight that shines onto your patio or sitting area.  You can choose to have a greenhouse like fibreglass roof on your pergola to keep out the rain and reduce sunlight or you can leave the roof open for partial shade from the cross beams.  Pergolas being used for privacy is another common application.  Often we find that neighbouring homes have high decks that overlook our clients properties so in this case a pergola can provide excellent privacy over top of your patio or hot tub area.

Arbors can aid in drainage solutions

Did you know that arbors can be a great aid for drainage solutions?  We often use cedar arbors to straddle a front or back walkway.  Instead of running your drain pipe underground you can choose to run your drain pipe over top of the arbor and therefore over top the walkway and down the other side of the arbor.  This allows you to avoid underground drainage.  Overland drainage is always preferred over underground drainage because underground drainage can freeze up in spring and cause your eavestrough to over flow.  We can hide the drain pipe in the arbor beams so they are not visible.  You can visit our page on drainage solutions to learn more about using arbors for drainage issues.

Arbors for beautiful landscape accents

Arbors make beautiful landscape accents.  The warm look of cedar can help to soften your landscape while providing an ornate accent to your property.  We can build arbors in a variety of styles and they can be stained or painted according to what matches your landscape best.  The soft look of cedar arbors is particularly helpful when you have a lot of concrete or cold landscape components.

Materials used for building Arbors and Pergolas

Arbors and pergolas are almost always built out of either cedar, Meranti hardwood or pressure treated wood.  If you want a rich wood look for your arbor then cedar or meranti is best.  If you plan on painting your arbor then pressure treated wood be appropriate and is also the least expensive option.  Using arbors or pergolas for your front or back yard are is a great idea regardless of what material you use.

Have a look at our Arbors, Pergolas and privacy screens page for more

 

 

 

06 Mar 2019

Chinook Landscaping is now open for spring estimates!

Chinook Landscaping is now open for spring estimates.  We provide free landscaping estimates and consultations to Calgary Homeowners.  The estimate includes a walkthrough of your property and a consultation on your landscaping needs and requirements.  We will also take time to explain our company history to you as well as show you pictures of our work and explain the landscaping process clearly.

We can provide you with an estimate on all of your landscaping needs including:

Landscape Design
Patios and Walkways
Retaining walls
Sod installation and removal
Tree and shrub removal and installation
Paving stones
Fences and Decks
Underground Sprinklers
Landscape Lighting

We love to explore new landscaping ideas with our Calgary clients and take great pride in creating beautiful spaces for your front or back yard.  Visit our estimates page Call us today for your free estimate.  403-452-8552

22 Feb 2019

Growing Strawberries in Calgary

It is never too early to start planning your summer gardens.  Strawberries are a great addition to any garden in Calgary.  Growing strawberries in Calgary is much more fruitful than it used to be.  There was a time when growing strawberries in Calgary was difficult because there were very few hardy strawberry varieties to choose from but that has all changed in recent years.  Thanks to new varieties primarily from Washington and the East Coast of Canada, hardy, bountiful strawberry varieties are now available.

Many new strawberry varieties to choose from

Older strawberry varieties like Tristar were ever bearing strawberries that would produce fruit throughout the summer.  But the fruit form this variety was sparse with small berries and low yield.  Now new varieties like Kent allow Calgary gardeners to enjoy June bearing strawberries.  The Kent strawberry is a large juicy and very sweet berry that has excellent yield.  Combining a June bearing strawberry with ever bearing strawberries is a great way to produce strawberries from June until October.

Grow your strawberries in the ground or not?

Strawberry gardening is not just limited to in ground plantings anymore.  You can choose to grow strawberries in containers, hanging baskets or even in straw bales.  The highest yield will likely still come from in ground or straw bales but if your growing area is restricted then container gardening is a great choice.

Wider strawberry rows equals more fruit

If you are planning on creating a strawberry garden then don’t just plant single rows of plants.  Instead, plant a single row and then allow the plants to runner.  The runners are shoots that come off the mother plant and eventually these shoots become baby strawberry plants. You can train the runners by hand or hoe and place them in areas where the soil is open and the plants will have room to mature. Be careful not to cut the runners as these long stems provide nutrients to the baby strawberry plants.  Once the runner plants take root they will start to create a wide row of strawberries.  We recommend about a 2-3′ wide mat of plants for high yield.

Strawberries need protection during our cold winters

Wintering you strawberries correctly is very important especially in Calgary’s very cold climate.  In the fall after the frost starts to hit your plantings you can start to cover them up for the winter.  You can choose a variety of covers for the plants protection including wheat straw, leaves or mulch.  Make sure you create a good think protective layer over top your strawberries of at least 8-12″.  This protective covering will insure you have much less winter kill and a much greater yield of fruit come summer time.

Your local Calgary will have a good selection of June bearing and overbearing strawberries plants.  They are typically available in early May.

For more information on growing strawberries in Calgary see these links:

How to grow strawberries in hay bales

Strawberries in Alberta