My Backyard planting experience (Part 2) - Zone 4a/b Quebec, Canada


I am not aware of them but I trialed about 6 different varieties of Garlic. This one was the least work, gave me the largest heads, the cloves are rock hard and keep very well but just leak oil when cut. Nice and spicy too. One large clove is equivlant flavor to 8+ cloves of the cheap chinese imports.


A wonderful report HFC, I am still frozen in here, lots and lots of snow.


We still have a foot of snow down too. Last week though daytime temps have been above zero which has been concerning me as this is 2-3 weeks earlier than usual. I’m worried things will wake up to early then get zapped by a freeze. Ah well, joys of gardening. Here I was telling myself that I have enough varieties and that I don’t need to graft anything this year or order anything and yet somehow I have an order to Whiffletree ready to be sent and have sent out feelers for 20-30 varieties I want to try and get wood for…


We stay frozen fairly long and rarely warm up enough to have the trees wake up early and then the blossoms freeze off. That is why, if we can get a good fruit variety that will stand the cold winters we can usually have a good fruit year.

Goodness, I wasn’t going to buy anything new this year at all, I was done. And then? Winter set in and I started re reading fruit threads. Now I have 12 different apple varieties, 6 new plums and 6 pears. Most are scions to graft, some are plants. I am holding myself back from trying high bush blueberries in pots. I have a building that gets down to only about -5C at the most, so I do think they would survive in there, my potted peach tree did.

I guess there are worse things I could be doing with my time, I like to stay active and fruit growing keeps my mind thinking.


Hey, only -5 in your sheltered area? You could do figs in pots! :wink:


Are you serious really? Ummm do I need another type of fruit to grow? Short answer is Yes!


What type of fig would you recommend? Would I need 2 for pollination?


Well the 2 that hear about repeatedly for cold weather is Chicago and Brown Turkey. You lose 2 zones being in pots so you will probably still want to insulate and wrap as well. Reviews seem to lean towards Chicago being better tasting. Probably better to ask an expert at or It is my understanding that most figs are self fertile.


In fact, yes they are self fertile and the fig we eat is actually a structure in which the flowers are. Is not a simple fruit (which come normaly from the developpment of the ovary of the flower.).


Hungryfrozencanuck, I would like to add a 4th grape variety. I’m the same zone as you so whatever works for you might work ok for me. I already have Somerset, swenson red, and briana. I love all 3. Another seedless would be nice but not sure if that’s doable. Out of the ones you’ve tried what would you recommend?


So as you are well aware, our options for hardy seedless grapes are limited.

Honestly, I would plant a 2nd vine of Somerset because they are so delicious but not super vigorous nor productive.

Trollhaugen is fairly good. (I think I have one that was mislabeled as a green grape). Ripens mid September. Suffers from some shatter. But I prefer the size and flavour of Concord or Bluebell but those have seeds.

Between Reliance and Vanessa I would go with Vanessa. Reliance tastes a bit better but Vanessa seems a bit more hardy in my area (Reliance is in a bit wetter area of the row so that might be a bit more vulnerable). BUT both of these are borderline for zone 4 and need to be laid down each fall and you will still have dieback.

For seeded I like the flavour of Concord better than Bluebell plus the skin of Bluebell gets Tougher if you let it hang on the vine too long. However Bluebell is much more hearty then Concorde and ripens earlier.

I have not yet tasted Swenson Red, Swinson White, Kay gray, Roland, or Brianna but I am hoping in the next year or two to have grapes.

So to summarize from the grapes that I have tasted so far if you don’t want a second vine of Somerset I would try Trollhaugen. If you are willing to risk die back I would consider Vanessa or Reliance as a trial.


absolutely enlightening and educational thread from our friendly northerly neighbor :slightly_smiling_face:
it sure widens everyone’s fruit vocabulary, and more importantly, quite informative of the challenges, hurdles, and of course-- the success-stories overcoming those challenges and hurdles.

so nice this e-group now gets updates from fruit-growers in canada, africa, and europe(last time i counted). Thus said, the first mexico-based, central america/south america/ tropical asia-based fruit-growing posters would also get stars from me :wink:

where art thou? There are millions of you am sure, if not billions.


Ive considered another Somerset but I think I might give vanessa a try just for variety sake. I dont mind laying down one vine every fall it will be worth not having the seeds. They get annoying after so many grapes. Although I would never pull out the swenson red and Brianna as the flavor is excellent.


I agree, love hearing about people’s experience worldwide.


How are you successfully growing a plumcot??


only grape that works here are the seeded concords. thats ok as i love concords! they have such a rich taste compared to other dark varieties I’ve tasted.


Codym17, sounds good. I suggest growing multi trunk, at least 3 as you should have at least 1 survive. Glad to hear about Swenson Red and Brianna, I planted never having tasted them. Any other winners you are growing that I did not mention?

Moose71, if you can grow Concord you ABSOLUTLY can grow others! Concord is a zone 5a/b plant ripen late Sept to late Oct here. Somerset would give you grapes in August! Reliance, Vanessa, Trollhaugen in September! Extend your season with experimentation.

Katie, it was the usual Green Barn shenanigans. Eg it was called a plumcot but upon further questioning they called it that because it was a “plum with apricot flavours” so they changed the name to Taylor Goldstar plum.


I’ve read the seeded concords are hardy to zone 3b, the seedless to z5. im in z3b. the ones my father has ripen in late august. they don’t get as big as the ones growing in more southern zone but taste just as good!


Do you mean seedLESS to 3b and seeded to z5?


no. the seeded are more hardly. I’ve looked and havent found a seedless grape hardier than z5. sorry. typo.