New USDA Zone Map, We are all a higher zone than we used to be

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by pecan, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. pecan

    pecan

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    Not sure if you all have seen this or not but the USDA released a new zone map in Jan, averaging in the last two decades of temps (the previous zone map did not include the last two decades). I jumped from a 5b to a 7a, which doesn't surprise me as we never get under 0' for as long as I remember.

    Here it is. Pretty cool interactive map.
    http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

    Exciting as it opens the door to new and wonderful plants! :)
     
    pecan, Mar 15, 2012
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  2. pecan

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    j.w, Mar 15, 2012
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  3. pecan

    pecan

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    WOW! It says I am 3A! Holy moly that is cold!.

    I spent one weekend in Jan (just prior to the new zone map being released) documenting all the days we were below 10 F in the last 40 years on a spreadsheet. I was looking for trends and such. I found that we only get below 10F about 5 days a year (did not get below 10 at all this year and normally have 1-2 years each decade where we don't) and have not been below 0 in 20 years. I believe zone 7 is 0-10F for the lows so it puts us right there. I have been growing zone 7 plants without issue but am thinking about now trying some zone 8's with winter protection. The one bad thing about my zone 7 is my season is shorter than most others zone 7 because of our elevation I think... I think our last frost is 2-4 weeks later than other zone 7's and our first frost is 2-4 weeks before other zone 7's.

    I am a climate nerd :)
     
    pecan, Mar 15, 2012
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  4. pecan

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    We are usually no colder than the low 20's but there are times when we get lower like in the teens and for the previous 2 winters we got as low as -6 for a few days and that's all it takes to kill any zone 8 plants and lucky if some zone 7 plants don't get injured.
     
    j.w, Mar 15, 2012
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  5. pecan

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Mine stayed the same 6b -5 - 0
    Which is what we can see quite often, not this year though I don't think we went below 10. My zone 7 plants freeze back to the ground, or get a topping of dead, usually can just cut off the dead and they grow back nicely.

    But some die. If they die they don't get replanted.
     
    addy1, Mar 15, 2012
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  6. pecan

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    That's my position on zone ones that freeze here too addy. If they can't take the cold they don't get invited back..... Survival of the fittest!
     
    j.w, Mar 15, 2012
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  7. pecan

    pecan

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    I feel the same way with the exception of a few tropicals I plant each year. But I am still looking for hardy tropical looking plants to take their place.
     
    pecan, Mar 15, 2012
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  8. pecan

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    Have you tried the Musa Bajoo banana plant pecan. It grows here and dies down but comes back up every year and if ya get a mild winter sometimes it doesn't die all the way to the ground and then you just leave the old part standing there ugly and when winter ends you only cut it back to where green stem shows and you get a bit of a head start cuz it grows from the green up.
     
    j.w, Mar 15, 2012
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  9. pecan

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    lol I don't do annuals either, too much work to replace every year. Live or die.......poor plants .
    My tulips are blooming! they usually wait until may.
     
    addy1, Mar 15, 2012
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  10. pecan

    pecan

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    I have two of them. :) I cut them to about 3 feet tall, put a chicken wire cage around them, filled the cages with pine needles, covered with an insulated fabric and then covered in clear plastic. This is my first spring with them so I am really excited to uncover them and see what I find. It's kind of like opening a present on Christmas morning! :)
     
    pecan, Mar 16, 2012
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  11. pecan

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    I should like to know how that works for you pecan as I may try that trick next fall on mine. Would be great if I could save the green stalk so I could have them get really big during the summers! I just love them!
     
    j.w, Mar 16, 2012
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  12. pecan

    lenny jewell

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    musa bajoo hmmm i'll have to look for that one i am in zone 6a will they work , it can get cold here , i have seen winters of at least -5 but lately pretty mild and also can they handle snow or will i be hunting for pine needles and cones like pecan ?
     
    lenny jewell, Apr 8, 2012
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  13. pecan

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    Musa Basjoo (Japanese Fiber Banana)

    Musa basjoo is generally considered the most cold-hardy banana.
    While it does grow in Japan, the Japanese fiber banana is native to the Ryukyu Archipelago, which lies between Japan and Taiwan. It is also very common in parts of China.
    Its large, tropical foliage and fast growth rate make it ideal for a dramatic feature in the tropicalesque garden. It will eventually form a large, deep green clump, up to at least 18 feet tall.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Hardiness

    Musa basjoo is somewhat unique in that it will actively grow in cool weather. The banana will continue growing until temperatures reach approximately 40° F. It will resist light frost, but die back at 28° F. It is is considered root-hardy to zone 6, and will survive a zone 5 winter with heavy mulch.
    Winter Protection

    Cut back leaves after soon after light frost damage occurs. Spray the root crown with a fungicide to prevent fungal rot during the winter. Use heavy mulch around the root crown to protect from freezing. Gradually remove the mulch in late winter-early spring as the risk of a hard freeze passes.
    Growing Tips

    Grow in full sun to partial shade. Musa basjoo thrives on plenty of fertilizer and water during the growing season. It will do well with a regular application of balanced liquid fertilizer applied weekly during the summer. While it is a heavy feeder, be careful not to burn the plant with too high a concentration of fertilizer. Top-dressing with composted manure is another popular feeding method. Leaves may be shredded or dried out in a windy location; pick a site with some wind protection.
     
    j.w, Apr 8, 2012
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  14. pecan

    Malak

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    interesting thanks! I did bump up by one. Gotta change my profile now...
     
    Malak, Apr 8, 2012
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