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For us beginers, how do I know what zone im in?

 
                            
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Im in Knee Hill County Alberta Canada and dont know what zone I'm classed in when buying plants. Could some one please help remedy my ignorance?
 
Jami McBride
gardener
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Location: PNW Oregon
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Just Google - hardness zones for Canada!

Cheers
 
                            
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Awsome Thankyou!!
 
Ken Peavey
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The USDA offers a hardiness zone map.  Click on their map, you zoom in on the area you select.  It does not zoom in on Canada, but if you are close enough to the border, you might find yourself in the overlap area.
 
Paul Cereghino
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Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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Also consider microclimate... are you in a low spot that collects cold air (your zone is lower),  are you next to a lake (your zone is higher).  And take everything with a grain of salt... Freezing for me is a unusual and interesting event, so I am not a good reference point for your situation.
 
                            
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From what I could tell on the edge of 2B and 3A. As far as were my garden sits, well I want to fill the yard and there is a big differance from the north end to the south, the north end being higher by around 8-10 feet than the lower south end.  Although with the slope facing south almost the entire area gets direct sunlight most of the day and creates great opertunities for making swells and using a pond or two I hope.
Thank you all for your reply's!
 
                                
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Ouch, 2b and 3a. What do you grow up there, I mean besides the obvious- Ice Cream Bars, lol. Do you have enough frost-free days for tomatoes? I guess the summer days ARE longer so that makes up for a little.
 
                            
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I can grow a lot, had 40+ pounds of tomatoes off four plants! My garden gets a lot of sun light which helps. I have picures on my youtube channel. Now though it is very cold, only indoor plants.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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yeah you are in a really scarey zone...i did find an apple that is hardy in zone 3 the other day in a new catalog though..elderberries and most can fruits should be hardy too..and probaby pear trees and i think maybe mulberries?

check with some of the canadian nursery sites and you should find things hardy to your area..

actually if i could i would likely buy things from canadian nurseries, as finding things in the usa isn't so easy for as far North as we are (zone 4)..but with the milder winters lately i've been doing fairly well with zone 4 and 5..and do watch for hardier plants when i can get them
 
                            
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I do have apples that do great, and would like to try some pears. It is a challenge but every year my garden grow with perenials.
 
Brenda Groth
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me too Benny I love perennials..esp the food ones..I always search the garden catalogs for hardier and hardier ones..i have put in nut trees, (babies last year), but don't know if i'll ever get any nuts off of them or not.

one thing i really do suggest that you do RIGHT NOW..that is watch for areas that thaw quickly (suntraps)...and mark those and then also watch for areas that thaw slowly..stay frozen longer in the spring...

the ones that thaw quickly will work for things that are marginally hardy for your area but don't have blossoms that you have to worry about freezing in a late season frost...such as i have an area that hibisucs will grow huge..because they are warm and the climbing roses also love this area..however in other areas they are more  stunted.

then also for the areas that are slower to thaw..that is where you want to put things that you don't want to blossom too early, that mnight blossom and then freeze with a late frost..the colder slower thaw there will keep the buds from coming on so quickly..but be careful of things that the extra cold might destroy the buds.

also consider things like a greenouse or a coldframe as well..use every season extender that you can to get things to work well
 
                            
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A green house is definatly on my want list. Thanks for the suggestions on thaw areas, very good information! I have an area against my deck that gets a lot of heat and I using it for tomatoes and peppers, I have had some of the best tomato crops in town! I believe the dark paint on the deck seems to help hold the heat.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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try making up a perennial bed of hardy or half hardy vegetables and herbs and edible flowers..my suggestions would be violets and daylillies for the edible flowers as they are extremely hardy and all parts can be eaten..

put your kale, collards and swiss chard in this bed too, pick most of it but leave a few plants to self seeds so you have it always..

some of the herbs will self seed too, like dill and parsley, but you might want to put those seeds in an envelope inside and put them back out the following spring to make sure that you have some coming up..

also if you have a cold shed some of the plants will continue to produce if you bring them into the shed with dirt on their roots to keep them from freezing..like brussel sprouts etc..even tomatos can be pulled and hung from the rafters to keep them going for a month or so..but warmer room for them..and peppers can be potted up and brought inside where they'll continue to bear for a while too
 
Dustin Bajer
Posts: 4
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
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I'm in Edmonton, Alberta, which is largely considered zone 3b, a little warmer than the surrounding country. I'm more than sure that this has to do with the heat island effect of the city; giving us just a little bit more of an edge (not that 3b is much of an 'edge'.

I do know, however, that the Devonian Botanic Garden (well within that 2b region) grows a lot of plants that one would consider to be in the 4 possibly 5 range; it is possible. I'm currently working on a permaculture project at a local high school and I've knowingly chosen some zone 4 and 5 plants to try; of course, we're in a concrete courtyard which, I'm expecting, will extend the season (love microclimates!).

http://permaculture.jasperplace.ca

As for an earlier comment, we (those of us in Alberta) can grow some pretty good apples and I'm even familiar with a locally developed apricot (Capalano Apricot) that had been reported to do very well; let's also not forget that grafting can do wonders.

Though 3b is nothing to write home about, we're still able to do a surprising amount of things; even more when permaculture is put to good use. It's also comforting to know that no matter where in the world you live, you're going to get the same number of annual daylight hours; we just get most of ours all at once.

Dustin
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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Canada has been developing a lot of plants that we find helpful here in Michigan too..they do studies on plant hardiness that the US doesn't bother with..although a lot of our Northern states are as cold as a lot of Canada..like Michigan for example.

we really are considered zone 4 here where we are..but we have some microclimate areas that are safe for zone 5 plants..and esp with protection

remember also if you can buy on "own root" type plants you are better off than grafts..as if the top dies on own root it will grow back but on grafts..you'll just have the rootstock.

you may have luck with some of the old fashioned roses in your protected south facing wall areas..i have some that do fantastic here...crazy wild..and they are on own roots
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