Friday, November 28, 2014

Fall and Winter Garden

Have fun growing vegetables during Autumn and Winter months. Try different varieties either planting directly in the ground or even in planters grown inside. 

What Vegetables To Plant and Where To Plant Them

Vegetables can be pretty much grown all year long in the southern states as well as the west and southwest. The United States Department of Agriculture separates agriculture zones by calling them “hardiness zones” and labeling the by numbers.

There  are 11 plant hardiness zones as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in the U.S. They are also known as growing or climate zones. In reality there is no hard and fast rule that says that one species of plant will absolutely flourish or fail outside of its hardiness zone. It’s always worth experiment with seeds or live plants particularly with seasonal climate changes, or geographical hurdles as like elevation, salty air, pollution etc.  For instance, even though you’re in zone 8 in Alabama, you may get a better plant than zone 8 in southern California in and around Los Angeles metropolitan where pollution or evening trade winds may affect the plants livelihood.

Information over the years have been collected from different regions throughout the US by farmers and agriculturalist to help understand growing seasons and how plant life is effected when grown in different regions. 

The USDA determined or categorized hardiness zones as a simple guideline and not a true or foolproof means of planting seeds or live plants. There’s no warranty or guarantee but, an educated guess that your plants will grow according to the hardiness zone method.

For more information regarding hardiness zones and which particular plants that may have a better chance at growing in your area, visit: then type in your zip code to find out which hardiness zone you live in.

Don’t be afraid to plant just about anything. You’ll be surprised as to what will grow in your area whether it’s a tropical or desert plant.

Southwestern U.S. Hardiness Zone Map 

Use other hardiness zone plants to your advantage. For instance, I grow cold climate zoned plants during my winter season. I grow tomatoes  starting from seeds that are from Russia and Oregon. Since they do so well in the mild summers of Russia or Oregon, they absolutely flourish during the winter months here in southern California.


Plant hardiness zone seven
Zone seven, often referred to the, "middle ground of gardening", weaves its way through Alaska's inland passage, Washington, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Delaware, New Jersey, Long Island, and Cape Cod.
Minimum temperatures, the ones to worry about, are typically in a range from 0 to 10º F with the first fall frosts usually expected towards the end of October. You should be getting your ground ready for planting in August/September for October planting of:

Aside from winter vegetables, consider planting or splitting your rhubarb crowns in October.

Plant hardiness zone eight
Zone eight ranges from the rain forests of Washington eastwards along the western and southern borders of the U.S. and across to the coast of North Carolina. Winters are mild and the growing season is prolonged; minimum temperatures range from 10 - 20º F with the first fall frosts around the middle of November. Prepare your ground in August/September for October planting of:
Plant hardiness zone nine
Zone nine is comparatively small and includes central Florida, the Gulf coast of Louisiana and Texas, a good deal of California, and the southern Oregon coast. The growing season is long and the winters are mild; minimum temperatures range from 20 - 30º F with the first fall frosts occurring towards the end of November. Prepare your ground in late August/ early September for October planting of:

Plant hardiness zone 10
Zone ten includes parts of California, Florida and Hawaii and is essentially, sub-tropical; minimum temperatures range from 30 - 40º F. Frosts are usually rare in zone ten but could occur from mid December to February. It's best to prepare your ground in late August and during September for October planting of:

Plant hardiness zone 11
Zone 11 includes parts of Hawaii and the Florida Keys and is a tropical zone with a year round growing season; the minimum temperature is usually 40º F or above and the zone is described as, "free of frost". Vegetables can be grown very successfully in zone 11 and with a year round growing season the October planting deadline is not as vital.

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Thank you very much for your comments and questions.I will be sure to reply as soon as I can. With Regards ~Emma