I thought this would be a fun topic. There’s a lot to discuss since there is a lot more beyond just the lowest temperature of a hardiness zone. There are many different climates in each zone as well as microclimates, disease / fungal problems, humidity, rainfall, elevation, etc. What do you guys think is the ideal zone as far as diversity of what you can grow?
There has always been more diversity in warmer areas as long as the water is present. During the early years of T-Rex our planet was 30F warmer than it is now in our global warming crisis. There was much more life then than there is now. The polls were much warmer and the equator was 5F warmer. I MEASURED IT WITH A DIGITAL THERMOMETER so don’t ask how I know because I was there.
Warmer isn’t always better to everyone, chill hours are a factor as well. There are a ton of fruits what you can’t grow without chill hours. Of course that depends on what fruits you like, and what fruits you are willing to not be able to grow.
Not sure if there is any “best”. But the zone 7 Mid-Atlantic is a good zone. It is a transitional zone that you can grow most cold weather and warm weather varieties.
I think 9a-9b offers a lot of opportunity with lower chill temperate fruits and subtropicals.
Zone 9 is too hot and can’t grow most of the Northern fruits.
I think i read somewhere where the old zones arent absolute anymore…
By the old maps im 6B… but according to my experience ive been 7A for the most part.
Yeah there is definitely some zones that are pushing the next one.
What fruits can’t you grow in zone 9 other than sea buckthorn?
The zones have never been absolute. They’re rolling averages that may or may not be true in any given year.
Not all zone 9 is very hot, besides you can grow just about every temperature fruit.
As I said, there is no such thing of “best” hardy zone. Everything is relative. We just have to check the chilling requirement of all we grow…
Yes that’s true, there are disadvantages and advantages to each zone. What is meant by “best” zone is the diversity of what you can grow versus what you can’t.
That is what a “transition” zone offers…
I tend to ignore the short-sighted zone maps that only consider the last 15 years or something.
I’ve lived on the edge of zone 7, in zone 5, and more recently in 6b (although I’m expecting them to find I’m in 7 some morning!)…
all this and never moving much over half a dozen miles from the point I started as a barefoot boy!
Oh, I’ve moved out of state for a bit for short stints, 7a, 8a, 9b, etc…I’m not counting that.
I’m pretty happy in a “Mediterranean” 9b. I grow pomes, stone fruit, citrus, figs, I’m getting more into subtropicals; young cherimoya, longan, avocado seedlings survived the winter with no protection beyond tree canopy and growing on a slope.
It hasn’t been too cold this winter, if my cherries fruit this year, I think this is pretty perfect.
I can tell you that the edge of 3b/4a isn’t where you want to be for fruit growing diversity.
I always admire people in far North zone 3/4. Some people grow nice nut trees. Some even try to grow fig trees.
There are zone 9 areas much cooler in summer than NJ. One that comes to mind are the northern coast of CA and Southern OR. They also have lots of chilling.
That sounds almost perfect! How many chill hours do you usually get?