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Categories by zone?

Post  hankyknot on 8/7/2011, 6:58 pm

One thing I have found is that not being in the US and therefore only having my country of residence as the common link to other gardeners is that what we're growing is hugely different depending on when we are in relation to each other.

Is there any way to link threads by usda zone or even create usda zone defined forums? I'd love to know what other people in Zone 5 are growing but at the moment thats not really that easy to do.
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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  littlesapphire on 8/7/2011, 7:46 pm

That's an interesting question. I know a lot of people have their zones as their location under their avatar. I should probably do that.... but anyway, I'm zone 5 too! And in case you're wondering, I'm growing: Summer squash, zucchini, bush beans, pole beans sugar snap peas, english peas, watermelon, peppers, cucumbers, onions, all sorts of lettuce, carrots, strawberries, and tomatoes! Lol
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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  Denese on 8/7/2011, 7:54 pm

+1
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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  boffer on 8/7/2011, 8:05 pm

The zones represent average winter time low temperatures. As veggie gardeners, seldom is that an important number since we garden in the summer.

This example shows why zones don't really work for veggie gardeners:

Shannon1 is the Regional Host of the Coastal South; she lives near Jacksonville, FL, zone 9A. She has great weather for growing toms, peppers, and eggplant, but she fights sci-fi bugs and tropical diseases. It's warm enough there, that growing cool crops can be a challenge.

Furbalsmom is the Regional Host of the Pacific Northwest; she lives on the west coast of Oregon, zone 8B-9A. Typically, FM's summers aren't warm enough to grow tomatoes without a greenhouse or other means of supplemental heat. She typically can grow good harvests of cool crops in spring and fall.

The USDA zones were created with ornamental plants in mind, not vegetable gardening. As far as the geographical regions that the forum is divided into, I don't find them very helpful either. No matter the divisions made, or by whatever standards used, they will be sure to be worthless to many.

If there were to be any changes made, I would lobby for Growing Degree Days. Wink

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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  westie42 on 8/7/2011, 8:44 pm

To make all that even worse in this state and presumably in most we fellow SFGers find mini zones just a few miles away that make comparisons almost useless. Comparisons in rain, temps, humidity, sun shine and pest populations. Sometimes it seems like every garden is an island unto itself and just over the hill is something quite different. Just when you think you have finally learned when to hold them and when to fold them the weather patterns blow all those thoughts away.

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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  Goosegirl on 8/7/2011, 9:33 pm

westie42 wrote:To make all that even worse in this state and presumably in most we fellow SFGers find mini zones just a few miles away that make comparisons almost useless. Comparisons in rain, temps, humidity, sun shine and pest populations. Sometimes it seems like every garden is an island unto itself and just over the hill is something quite different. Just when you think you have finally learned when to hold them and when to fold them the weather patterns blow all those thoughts away.

+1! One of my gardening buddies lives just about 20 miles west of me, but because of the slight change in elevation (and in SD I do mean SLIGHT) her frost date in spring is at least 2 weeks later than mine and her fall frost is about 2 weeks earlier. May not seem like much, but it takes a whole month off her growing season!



GG
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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  HouseofWool on 8/8/2011, 8:36 am

Goosegirl wrote:One of my gardening buddies lives just about 20 miles west of me, but because of the slight change in elevation (and in SD I do mean SLIGHT) her frost date in spring is at least 2 weeks later than mine and her fall frost is about 2 weeks earlier. May not seem like much, but it takes a whole month off her growing season!



GG

Being in the Dakotas, I would assume that ANY elevation change is slight.... Laughing

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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  westie42 on 8/8/2011, 9:08 am

There is a place called Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse that is well mountainous. Otherwise you are correct however no reason to get to N. Dak. has ever arisen as close as it is.

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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  hankyknot on 8/8/2011, 9:51 am

There are exceptions to any rule and maybe with the states being broken down on these forums as much as they are its less of an issue but for the rest of us, especially up here having just the single country category is almost useless.
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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  camprn on 8/8/2011, 10:13 am

Well, I am also in zone 5a and only 3 hours from the Canadian border, I would guess that we have similar growing seasons, so we have more in common than not, in regards to the garden. I believe the set up of regions are more beneficial to the forum set up than to gardening. In any case, pop into the New England forum any time. What a Face

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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/8/2011, 10:26 am

HouseofWool wrote:
Goosegirl wrote:One of my gardening buddies lives just about 20 miles west of me, but because of the slight change in elevation (and in SD I do mean SLIGHT) her frost date in spring is at least 2 weeks later than mine and her fall frost is about 2 weeks earlier. May not seem like much, but it takes a whole month off her growing season!



GG

Being in the Dakotas, I would assume that ANY elevation change is slight.... Laughing



I love this comment. lol! You just fired a brilliant salvo at residents of about 6 states.....anyone in the plains can relate. Awesome.



As for OP, I'm glad Camp chimed in. I was thinking of her and New England being a great region for a person in New Brunswick or even Newfoundland to follow. However, you may also follow the Pacific Northwest. From everything I've heard, the climates are mild and can be similar.



There is no rule stating you must live in the region you follow or post in. Often we suggest following multiple regions. Honestly, my home is the N&C Midwest, obviously, but I follow things going on in the Upper South, Middle South, and even the Mid-Atlantic because others in my region have climates that can run very close to those regions, too.



There is likely no cut and dry solution. However, the fact that you brought it up might mean we can think about "a better way." Winter is always a good time to visit such discussions because we just don't have much else going on with three feet of snow on the ground. Thank you for your suggestion.
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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  hankyknot on 8/8/2011, 12:04 pm

Thanks BBG, I wasn't thinking there were any hard and fast rules about who can post where just that it would be easier to relate in terms of zones than geography, especially as finding a zonal map that covers both the US and Canada is a lot harder than you would expect. Add to that my US geography knowledge sucks and the fact I don't know my New England from my New Jersey and you can see my dilemma.
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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 8/8/2011, 12:06 pm

Hi Handyknot - Good, then I don't feel so bad about having to look up the Canadian provinces again...and I'm still not sure I could answer a pop quiz on them! Smile

Here is a thread with a map of the regions which might help - Smile
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t872-what-is-a-region-for-with-map
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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  Goosegirl on 8/8/2011, 2:29 pm

HouseofWool wrote:
Goosegirl wrote:One of my gardening buddies lives just about 20 miles west of me, but because of the slight change in elevation (and in SD I do mean SLIGHT) her frost date in spring is at least 2 weeks later than mine and her fall frost is about 2 weeks earlier. May not seem like much, but it takes a whole month off her growing season!



GG

Being in the Dakotas, I would assume that ANY elevation change is slight.... Laughing



On this side of the state? You ain't kiddin'! BUT, on the Black Hills side there are some gorgeous mountains - hiked Harney Peak a few years back, 7242 elev. - beautiful view!
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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/8/2011, 5:52 pm

hankyknot wrote:Add to that my US geography knowledge sucks and the fact I don't know my New England from my New Jersey...



Why would it? You are Canadian...lol. I would bet you a decent sum that your US knowledge whoops my Canadian knowledge for the same reason. In fact, we could have the first ever "stoopid off" and really impress the masses. Wink



GG, it's funny. Being from Kansas, I used to hear a lot of the same comments when I moved to Missouri....only they weren't kidding around. I had to over-explain that the eastern third of Kansas has plenty of rolling hills. It's once you get to Salina or Wichita that things go flat. And, I would explain that eastern Colorado is just as flat as any part of Kansas. But, no doubt, all those states have their very, very flat stretches of land. So flat they are hard states to drive through at times.
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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  Goosegirl on 8/8/2011, 8:30 pm

BackyardBirdGardner wrote:
GG, it's funny. Being from Kansas, I used to hear a lot of the same comments when I moved to Missouri....only they weren't kidding around. I had to over-explain that the eastern third of Kansas has plenty of rolling hills. It's once you get to Salina or Wichita that things go flat. And, I would explain that eastern Colorado is just as flat as any part of Kansas. But, no doubt, all those states have their very, very flat stretches of land. So flat they are hard states to drive through at times.



I grew up in CA, in one of the smaller mountain ranges, but still mountains - but anyone who has driven down I-5 in the Central Valley would know that California can be FLAT!

GG
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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  boffer on 8/8/2011, 8:58 pm

Goosegirl wrote:I grew up in CA, in one of the smaller mountain ranges, but still mountains - but anyone who has driven down I-5 in the Central Valley would know that California can be FLAT!GG

And so hot that it can't be more than 20 miles north of Hades!
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Re: Categories by zone?

Post  Goosegirl on 8/8/2011, 9:19 pm

boffer wrote:
Goosegirl wrote:I grew up in CA, in one of the smaller mountain ranges, but still mountains - but anyone who has driven down I-5 in the Central Valley would know that California can be FLAT!GG

And so hot that it can't be more than 20 miles north of Hades!

You must have been my next door neighbor! (and it's only 10 miles north...)

GG
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