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Plantidote of the Day 2012-01-31

twig's picture

peach blossoms


Flowering peach

A couple days ago, Correntian ydrasl sent me a story about the USDA's new plant hardiness zone map, in which my former Zone 10 has become Zone 9B. First of all, 9B sounds more like a shoe size than a garden zone, so that's not good. Second, if this is all the PTB intend to do about climate weirdness, we are well and truly ..... But wait -- I'm not done!

Apparently, winters are getting warmer, so some adjustments needed to be made in the zones, although the gubmint wants to make it absolutely clear that this has nothing whatsoever to do with global warming or climate change. Nothing, got it? Okay, moving on ... later that day, out in the backyard what do I see but the peach trees (above) in bloom. In January. And it has not been a warm winter. Uh oh.

So I'm wondering if there's any place gathering data on these sort of not-global-warming-related oddities. Why, as a matter of fact, there is! Smithsonian magazine has put together an excellent list of Citizen Scientist opportunities, including several focusing on gardens, bees, and related topics. It may not be much of a solution, but there are lots of really amazing projects underway in all kinds of fields. Meanwhile, enjoy your new zone of denial!

Readers, please send twig ( images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote or Petidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Pets you live with, plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chanterelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the pet or plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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Kathryn's picture
Submitted by Kathryn on

Here in NJ, I'm now in 7a. My mother, who lives in Tennessee, is in 6b.

Looks like my pansies will be a perennial addition to the garden.

Go figure. I think it's about 60 degrees today too. And that Peach blossom is exquisite.

jerztomato's picture
Submitted by jerztomato on

Maybe winters are getting warmer, but using their temperature guides to judge plant hardiness is a waste of time. If you read their disclaimer, it even tells you there are too many variables. I lived in 2 areas with the same USDA zone (8). Believe me, what I could grow in one, you couldn't grow in the other.
IMHO the Sunset garden guide is more useful.They have something like 45 zones.