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How to find out if a plant will grow in your area  RSS feed

 
Benton Lewis
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I have three methods for researching if a plant will grow in my area using:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Default.aspx
http://bonap.org/
http://plants.usda.gov/checklist.html

What methods do others use so you don't spend money growing a plant that is not for your climate?
 
Nicole Alderman
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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I often just google the plant and my area, like "sweet potatoes pacific northwest." For annuals, I like to use regional resources, like, http://www.seattletilth.org/get-involved/gardenstore book, as well as Erica Strauss' montly "To Do in the Garden" guides: http://www.nwedible.com/topics/gardening/to-do-lists/. I use the varieties they mention and plant when they say, because I'm pretty new to gardening!

I would see if you can find garden bloggers or publications suited for your area. They really are great resources!

 
Casie Becker
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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https://www.naturalgardeneraustin.com/what-to-do-in-january.html

Link to a very detailed to do list from a local organic nursery. I'm given to understand it's one of the oldest and biggest in the country. It separates the planting lists by seed, transplant and type of plant as well a suggesting other garden maintainance appropriate to each month.

I realize it's regional specific to around Zone 8b, but for our area it's very comprehensive.
 
Benton Lewis
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thanks zone 8 is my zone
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Benton Lewis wrote:What methods do others use so you don't spend money growing a plant that is not for your climate?


I just spend the money, time, resources, or favor that it takes to get the propagules, then I trial them in my garden. I have found intellectual research to be unpredictable regarding what will grow here. I temper that with a bit of discernment. I haven't yet planted an outdoor citrus. But I tried runner beans and mixta squash 5 years in a row before I harvested anything.

Besides the temperature, there is the humidity, the soil, the bugs, the irrigation, the brilliant sunlight, the strong radiant-cooling at night, the micro-climate, the farmer's habits, and who knows what else? They all contribute in a positive or negative manner to the health and well being of any particular plant. There are just too many variables for me to expect to be able to account for all of them with a thought experiment.


 
Benton Lewis
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Benton Lewis wrote:What methods do others use so you don't spend money growing a plant that is not for your climate?


I just spend the money, time, resources, or favor that it takes to get the propagules, then I trial them in my garden. I have found intellectual research to be unpredictable regarding what will grow here. I temper that with a bit of discernment. I haven't yet planted an outdoor citrus. But I tried runner beans and mixta squash 5 years in a row before I harvested anything.

Besides the temperature, there is the humidity, the soil, the bugs, the irrigation, the brilliant sunlight, the strong radiant-cooling at night, the micro-climate, the farmer's habits, and who knows what else? They all contribute in a positive or negative manner to the health and well being of any particular plant. There are just too many variables for me to expect to be able to account for all of them with a thought experiment.




I've done enough research now that I think I know what landrace gardening is. It might have been a while before I even thought of the idea of getting multiple cultivars of seeds in one pack and purchasing that. Thanks for your hard work! This is what I would like to do. Its the most logical way I can think to find what grows in your area, that along with just using mulch from the forest in your garden and growing in that humus as it decomposes. I see you have landrace seed packages for sale: http://garden.lofthouse.com/seed-list.phtml

I'd like some. Do you know anyone else selling landrace seed packages like you do?
 
Benton Lewis
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Anyone know of any dangers of a wild toxic relative cross breeding with crops in your garden? Like deadly nightshade cross pollinating with a tomato?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Benton Lewis wrote:Anyone know of any dangers of a wild toxic relative cross breeding with crops in your garden? Like deadly nightshade cross pollinating with a tomato?


Potatoes grown from seed are sometimes a bit on the wild side... They are sometimes bitter -- meaning that they are poisonous. No problem, because the poison is well behaved: It tastes nasty and it is very emetic. And it is deactivated by cooking.

One time I grew pocket melons, which are grown for their perfume, in with my muskmelons which are the same species, and they were extremely bitter tasting. So I threw away an entire year's worth of seed production because I couldn't take the risk that the poisonous melon had pollinated my cantaloupes.

Sometimes decorative pepo gourds are poisonous and could affect the crookneck, zucchini, acorn squash, delicatas, etc... The reputation of delicata squash was seriously damaged some years ago when a commercial seed production facility made that mistake.

Some bean varieties are more poisonous than others, but we have known for eons that bean poison is deactivated by cooking. So again, no worries.

A lady grew hot peppers next to my sweet peppers last season. I'm treating my pepper seed as if it has been contaminated by poison creating genes. I really don't like unexpected hot peppers.

As a plant breeder I am constantly tasting my crops to evaluate how poisonous they are. Other than the crops mentioned above, I haven't encountered anything other than the poisons and anti-nutrients that are normally associated with the commonly available vegetables that I grow.

 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2614
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
507
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Benton Lewis wrote:I'd like some. Do you know anyone else selling landrace seed packages like you do?


Yes.

Some of the mega seed companies offer packets containing mixed varieties. They are not landraces, but might be
a good starting point for creating a landrace. I'd avoid carrot mixes.

Some years ago I bought landrace tomatillos from Wild Garden Seeds. They also carry mixed lettuce seed.

Adaptive Seeds carries Ianto's Return Fava beans, and their wonderful landrace lettuce. Perhaps others.

Secret Seed Cartel carries Alan Bishop's landraces of dent corn, sunflowers, tobacco, and moschata squash

Peace Seedlings and Peace Seeds carry many of Alan Kapuler's varieties.

Carol Deppe is offering some landraces.

I really miss The Long Island Seed Project.
 
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