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Borderline hardiness zone

 
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Location: Chesterfield, Massachusetts, United States
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Hi all,

We live in Western Massachusetts (Chesterfield) at about 1430 feet elevation in the foot hills of the Berkshire mountains. Depending on the map I consult, I'm either a zone 6 or 5b, but I suspect we are colder due to elevation. It seems there are a *ton* of perennials that konk out right around our hardiness zone. I know Hardy kiwi will still make it and probably groundnuts. So what other cold Hardy perennials might we be able to eke out? I don't care if it dies back in winter as long as it survives to grow again

Related question: what is the difference between a USDA hardiness zone and a heat zone? I've seen some plants that will say they are Hardy to zone 5 but then have a heat zone of like 8 and that doesn't make sense to me. Is one something to do with the minimum temp the plant can survive and the other is the minimum amount of warmth needed to thrive?
 
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In Massachusetts, you're probably more interested in hardiness zone. For those of us in the south, the heat zone is an indicator of summer temperatures the plant can tolerate. For example, I've had zero success with gooseberries, rhubarb, and nasturtiums because they can't take our heat. So the heat zone (plus practical experience) helps me know what has the best chances of making it through our summers. If you get really hot weather in your location, the heat zone can help with your selections.
 
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I am in zone 6 and of course asparagus thrives. Polk is seldom mentioned as it is a weed. My neighbors eat it like it is great, cooked with lambs quarter (wild spinich) and curly dock..  I am a big weed fan.
 
D.W. Stratton
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Leigh Tate wrote:In Massachusetts, you're probably more interested in hardiness zone. For those of us in the south, the heat zone is an indicator of summer temperatures the plant can tolerate. For example, I've had zero success with gooseberries, rhubarb, and nasturtiums because they can't take our heat. So the heat zone (plus practical experience) helps me know what has the best chances of making it through our summers. If you get really hot weather in your location, the heat zone can help with your selections.



Ah ok, so it's the other end of the spectrum. Makes sense. Thank you.
 
D.W. Stratton
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Jennifer Smith wrote:I am in zone 6 and of course asparagus thrives. Polk is seldom mentioned as it is a weed. My neighbors eat it like it is great, cooked with lambs quarter (wild spinich) and curly dock..  I am a big weed fan.



I'll look into native edibles for sure.
 
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