Thursday, March 29, 2012

Planting Zones

     Well its that time of year again. The flowers are sprouting, leaves are out and the chill of winter is starting to dissapear. Well realistically, there was no winter. At least not in my part of the country. Much to my dismay that regulary six inches to three feet of snow that should have been on the ground for the past five months never showed up. Which is a shame too because I wanted to do a post or two on winter shelters. It will have to wait for next year.

     So as spring has shown up early I thought I would do a quick post on beginning gardens. As you all know, one of my goals for the year is to grow my own food. Not tons of it, because there is no way that is going to happen, but at least a little. Hopefully a couple of happy plants in pots if I don't kill them first from neglect or over watering (I have learned that when you plant starts to float, you gave it too much water, and it is going to die).

     Now one of the things with starting my first foray into growing a garden, or at least a couple of pots, is figuring out when exactly I should start planting. Apparently it is all based on zones. These zones are based on geography, wind and weather patterns, and basically give an idea of the average temperatures in an area. This is because plants need specific enviroments and tempuratres to survive. For example, an orange tree is not going to grow well, if at all, in Minnesota.

     So I decided to go ahead and look up when it was that I could start my garden pots outside, and found that I got two sets of dates. Apparently there are two types of vegetable gardens: warm season vegetable gardens and cool season vegetable gardens. I did not know thats. As far as I knew, you took some seeds and stuck them in the ground, hope they grow and there is your garden. I had no idea that you could start a different garden based on what weather a plant does better in.

     Of course now that I have found out about it, it does make quite a bit of sense, and it helps make sure I don't try and grow a cool vegetable during the middle of august. A quick list of the vegetables for you all:

     Warm Vegetables: Beans, Cantaloupes, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Okra, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkin, Summer Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Winter Squash

     Cold Vegetables: Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard, Onions, Parsley, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Spinach, Strawberry, Turnips

     So without further ado, here is a list of all the zones for everyone and when you can start your growing!

A Map of the Growing Zones in North America

Zones 9-10:     There won't be very many of you in these zones. These zones are very warm, and are only found on the bottom edge of the United States.

-Warm Vegetables: March - April

-Cool Vegetables: Sept - March

Zones 7 -8:       These zones strech through the deep south of the country and up into the bottoms of Virginia, Tennessee, and Arkansaw, and Oklahoma. These zones also continue through Texas and into the bottom half of New Mexico and Arizona, and then all the way up through California.

-Warm Vegetables: April - May

-Cool Vegetables: August - September

Zones 5-6:      These zones strech straight through the middle of the United States, and creeps up into the Rust Belt as well.

-Warm Vegetables: March - Early May

-Cool Vegetables: August - September

Zones 3-4:       These zones go through the top sections of the United States across the border and into the bottom areas of Canada.

-Warm Vegetables: April - May

-Cool Vegetables: Late July - Early September

Zones 1-2:       These zones cover the upper half of Canada, and this is where we start getting into the very cold areas of the globe. There is a short growing season, and some plants can't be grown there at all. So for those who are looking to start a vegetable garden up there, make sure to check what plants will grow and which won't.

-Warm Vegetables: May - June

-Cool Vegetables: July - August

     So there we are. The zones for planting because we are getting into the season. I will have an update soon as I get ahold of seeds and once my pots start getting started. Is anyone else out there planning on growing a garden? What are you growing? Let us know in the comments, we love to hear from you!


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