Bananas in New jersey / I Don't Trust Zone Maps

Judy Glattstein
Thu, 12 Feb 2009 20:17:48 PST
Adam Fikso wrote: "Judging from the USDA zone map, you seem to be Zone 6b."

I don't believe the USDA zone maps. They rely on winter low temperature 
and disregard everything else, even duration of cold. By their 
estimation, a location that dips down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit and stays 
below freezing for a week or longer is in the same zone as a place that 
reaches that low temperature but rises above freezing in the daytime. 
What nonsense.

Going back better than a decade - my garden in Wilton, Connecticut had 
that gardener's holy grail of high organic soil, moist but well drained. 
I grew Amaryllis belladona outdoors, year round, (under roof overhang, I 
admit) and it flowered reliably. Cyclamen coum reseeded prolifically.

My New Jersey garden is south of that, but it has a clay-based soil and 
is on the shady side of the street. There are plants that don't like it 
here, that would have thrived in Connecticut.

Would that Sunset magazine would develop their incredible zone system 
for the American West to cover country-wide. (I did once write and ask 
if they'd consider publishing Sunrise, the magazine of Eastern living. 
Never got an answer.)

Judy in New Jersey where the ferocious winds have been howling all day, 
shaking the trees and littering the place with downed branches

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