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Zone 3 Vegetables for Beginner Gardeners

Alive Gardens

Tessa Labbe

Zone 3

Vegetables for Beginner Gardeners




You’ve got a section picked out and are ready to garden, the only problem is, you have no idea what the proper plants are. You are new to gardening, don’t have a large garden space while trying to not indulge a lot of finances. 

We’ve got you covered. 

Zone 3

When living in zone 3, it’s important to know what that means. Zone 3 is when our weather drops to -35C to -40C (-30F to -40F). We can garden May through mid October if we are growing our cool season plants. 

To learn more about growing season visit

Beginner vegetables 

Let's take a look at some of the best beginner vegetables to grow. Growing in Alberta, starting your garden in May will help maximize plant growth but knowing some plants will be ready for harvest come July. 


Soak in lukewarm water 8-12 hrs prior to planting. This will help speed up the germination process. Place in water before bed and plant in the morning. Peas have tentacles they use when growing to help them climb upward. I recommend having a trellis for your pea plant. The trellis will also help you maximize your garden space for other plants.  


Lettuce is a great plant to start with. They do not take up a lot of space, direct planting by seed, variety of different kinds to plant and they enjoy the cooler temperatures. 


Kale is what we call a Biennial. They can stay in our gardens for up to 3 seasons. They can be planted in our cooler temperatures, withstanding our summer heat while staying in the garden throughout winter. When Spring approaches, kale will start its second growing season producing delicious leaves for you to harvest. 


Beet seeds are planted directly into the soil. Make sure you give each seed appropriate space to grow. If seeds are too close it will hinder their growth. If seeds are too close, no fret, you can thin out your plants as they start coming up. 


Cucumber seeds are planted directly into the soil making them an easy fruit to grow. Cucumbers have tentacles such as peas helping them grab onto things. I recommend to really maximize your garden space for cucumbers that will take up a lot of room, choose a trellis. Cucumbers are good at grabbing onto other plants, just carefully remove and place on the trellis for some guidance. Maximize the sun exposure. 6-8 hours of daily sun. 

More fruit/vegetable options

Have more space you would like to fill up in your garden bed. Here are a few more beginner options.

  • Radish
  • Arugula 
  • Beans (soak night before and trellis)
  • Chives
  • Spinach 


These are great starter plants for they have a shorter duration from plant date to harvest date (each package will show duration). They are all directly planted as seed into the soil. When you start exploring into the Lg - XL plants, many gardeners will start seedlings indoors or in a greenhouse to maximize Alberta’s shorter growing seasons. 


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