I have recently moved to Saskatchewan, Canada. It is in Zone 3 and dry with a lot of wind. I am ordering some small fruit plants and want to know if any of them will grow in light shade (north side of a one-story house). Most of the summer, the area receives sun in the morning and afternoon. However, because of the latitude, we have very long days in the summer. I plan to have a couple of dwarf apple trees, raspberries, strawberries, currants, asparagus, rhubarb, and blueberries, plus some herbs. I have a different area for the vegetable garden — it will receive sun all day. Any advice you can give will be appreciated. Also, do you have any ideas for a mulching the garden? The wind is a factor here, and anything too light would blow away.
Wow, it sounds like you have a challenging site. We can’t recommend varieties to grow, because you are far removed from our locale. Check with nearby agricultural colleges for their recommendations. Also, local growers will be of great help. In general, we think that apples are your best bet for fruit trees. You may have trouble growing strawberries, because late-spring frosts can freeze buds and developing berries. Be prepared to cover or irrigate your strawberries when these frosts are predicted. Most fruits and berries need at least six hours of sunlight each day during the growing season, so it sounds like you are OK there. As for mulch, good idea! Heavy ones are bark and, of course, rotted manure. We’ve used stone mulch on strawberries, with good results. A thick stand of turf will give protection to your apples. Good luck with your plantings and your heating bills. —Gardening experts George and Becky Lohmiller, Hancock, New Hampshire