help with garden zone!

kawaiineko_gardener(5a)August 6, 2012

This post is for future reference. I currently live in the upper (northern) part of the lower peninsula.

I did a search for zone 6 in MI via a zone map of the state. There are zone 6a, maybe 6b (don't know about 6b) on eastern side of MI (the thumb), that's further south than I am.

I did a search, can't find any cities in that area with zone 6a/6b, but according to the zone map there are cities in that area with that zone.

Can somebody help please? Whenever I try to do a zone search for that area, I'm still too far north; I don't know what cities are in that area, because I don't know the area very well.

Would prefer zone 6a/b as my zone because there's a longer growing season, gives me more options of what I can grow.

Here are links for reference, you'll have to manually copy and paste into browser.

When I say southern MI, I'm NOT referring to really far south like Lansing, near the bottom of the state. This is just for clarification.

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jomuir(z5 detroit)

IMO, zone maps should be taken w/a grain of salt. It's possible to have different zones on the same property, due to windbreaks, structures adding warmth to an area, protection of snow blankets, etc.

Wikipedia article addresses this pretty well

The way I look at it, is what is growing well for me in my garden? I may have a micro-climate & the ability to successfully grow something that my next-door cannot, yet we're def. in he same zone. Maybe I planted that questionable plant in an area that's protected by a tall stone fence/wall that protects it & gives off warmth at night, while in neighbor's yard it would be exposed to wind & not get protective warmth.

When in doubt, plant questionable plants & wait & see, you may be surprised at what you can grow up north. The zone police will not come after you if you try growing a zone 6a/b plant while the USDA map says you're really zone 6!

And for longer growing season, remember you can always put black plastic down to warm the soil on an area for a jump-start for some plants. And use row covers, etc for protection in early/late season. There are endless ways to prolong your growing season, they usually involve more work but a garden is perennial work anyway isn't it? Good luck, hope you find the info you're looking for.

Here is a link that might be useful: zone map drawbacks comment

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 11:37AM
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I'm giving this link since the map is pretty straight forward and easy to read. And since your post doesn't give a good read as to exactly where you are in Michigan - you can do the pinpointing and go from there.

But as was said above - these are but guidelines; there are no absolutes when yards have micro-climates and all kinds of variable conditions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Michigan plant hardiness zones

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 1:41PM
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