Growing Fruit in Cold Climates

Posted by Erin Colborn on

 Morning, know its been awhile but between Feburary and June is the busy season for us. In this chapter we'll be exploring growing fruits in cold climates. We expirement with alot of season extension techniques but my focus here will crops we can get to harvest without hoophouses and greenhouses.

Goji Berry or Wolf Berry is where we'll start, Goji's are one of my favorite fruits and they are incredibly easy to grow. I have had first year Goji's survive highs of 37 celcius and lows of minus 48 celcius. They are incredibly hardy as well as productive. They have been known to grow in excess of 10 feet tall in maturity. They are a fantastic addition to a food forest or a great perennial supplement for a market gardener looking for a productive fast seller that might even bring a crowd at market.

Next up in the humble saskatoon, fantastic fruits and a great shade or privacy tree. We personally make jams and beers with our saskatoon berry's. They can exceed 20 feet tall and can become unrully if not pruned on a semi yearly basis. Its abudance is very hit or miss depending on the specific tree, be very careful when selecting stock to start your saskatoons.

Third place in my list of fruits I can get to harvest on the prairies is Rhubarb, I love Rhubarb and I find to be the easiest fruit of all to grow. I've seen it survive 37 degrees with no help and its come back after a winter of minus 40's. We use rhubarb for brewing beer and making pies mostly. Rhubarb and saskatoon actually go great together in a beer.

Best of all once you acquire some seed or stock to get started you should be able to multiple your holding of any of these hardy perennials through basic propogation techniques. Treat any of these well and you'll have abundant harvests of cold tolerant fruits anywhere in western Canada.