PA gardening magazine?

janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)July 4, 2006

Are there any good gardening magazines that deal with Pennsylvania or the Mid-Atlantic? I've tried looking online, but haven't found much and seeing as I'm not in PA yet, can't check the magazine racks...


Janet's Garden

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What part of Pennsylvania are you moving too?

I wouldn't necessarily classify Pennsylvania as a mid-atlantic state from a gardening perspective. Virginia is considered a mid-atlantic state but parts of it has a more southern climate. Then there are parts of Pennsylvania that are more like the northeast. And western Pennsylvania is more like the midwest.

From a geographical perspective, do separate google image searches for "north east states map" and "mid atlantic states map" and you'll find Pennsylvania on both sets of maps.

They sell Midwest Living magazine on the grocery store racks here in Pittsburgh, but you probably wouldn't find it in other areas of the country. No magazines in the grocery stores are devoted entirely to gardening (at least where I live). The big book stores might be another story. I'll check that out this week while I'm there. I subscribed to a little online place--that sends me a nice quarterly magazine. I'll find out the name of it and post it here later. In the meantime, I found this site with some top picks: They're not for Pennsylvania though.

One of the problems is that Pennsylvania has different growing zones. One magazine couldn't possibly address all of the gardening needs of the area. You'll need to find the zone for where you live and try to find a magazine to match it. I've had better luck with midwest magazines than southern magazines. Southern magazines call many of our annuals, perrenials there. And they have many perrenials they call 'evergreen' but they die back here in the winter.

Here is a magazine for just Pennsylvania:

GREEN SCENE (bi-monthly)
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
325 Walnut St.
Philadelphia PA 19106
Green Scene available as subscription: $9.75
Or as membership benefit, annual dues: $40

I found it on the following site that has lots of cool magazines:

And this site lists some interesting ones too:

Thanks for bringing up this topic. You've got me interested in finding new subscriptions to magazines!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 11:00PM
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Here's an example. Check out the zone map:

If you're moving to Pittsburgh or northern Pennsylvania, you'll be in zone 5, whereas eastern and south central pennsylvania are zone 6.

The following magazine list has a Chicago gardening magazine. Chicago is in zone 5. I'm going to subscribe to that one and give it a try. (I live in Pittsburgh.)

If you're moving to eastern pennsylvania, you'd do better finding a magazine for the Kentucky/Tennessee region.

And some of the very far southern parts of Pennsylvania have climates more similar to the deep south with a zone of 8. (I find THAT hard to believe.)

I know that wasn't the answer you were looking for. But I hope I helped.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 11:21PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

The "Green Scene" from the PA Horticultural Society is a nice little magazine which I get from being a member of PHS.

Maggie makes a valid point about where you might live and what to look at to get a more valid description of the growing area. The state is large, borders a large lake in the Northeast corner (which creates its own microclimate and influences the winter snowfall in much of the northern and western part of the state), but also is not far from the ocean (Phila. is about 60 miles from Atlantic City) and that large body majorily impacts the eastern part of the state. The Appalachian & Allegheny mountains are also a major influence by keeping the very coldest arctic air to the west and they also manage to break up lines of storms moving west --> east. The SE where I live is very much "Mid-Atlantic" in climate (and not so much like any inland southern states due to the ocean effect - ie., we don't get the hot/cold temperature extremes that a Kentucky/Tennessee might get...;-)).

You may want to try to find the Sunset Northeast Gardening Book (I found mine at a local Home Depot), which includes the entire Northeast through into the Mid-Atlantic states and IMHO, is spot-on with describing the weather and plants found in PA.

Also, the Mid-Atlantic Gardening Forum put together a FAQ not long after that forum was created and one of the FAQ answers includes a big list of books and other resources - many of which cover gardening in PA.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mid-Atlantic Forum FAQ - Gardening Books

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 2:18PM
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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

Thanks for all the input! It is helpful, even if not exactly what I was expecting to hear. ;o)

We'll be moving to the south-east, either in Phoenixville or within commuting distance of it, probably Zone 6b. In my mind it's almost a transitional area, where winter does exist, but not on the same terms as I'm used to. Neither is it a deep South kind of climate, so at least the "culture" shock won't be too great. Not really northern, not really southern. Is that a fair assessment?

Even with the diversity of climates in PA, I thought there might be a magazine that covered it. I guess Green Scene is the best bet there. Otherwise, I'll look for Mid-Atlantic type publications.

I'm kind of used to thinking in Canadian terms, where PA would be a very small province, with quite a small range of zones and climates. We have a couple of national gardening magazines, and a series of regional ones. There's an Ontario Gardener, for example, and it's almost frightening to think of how much that has to cover! So it never occurred to me that the diversity within the state would get in the way of a publication. Ah well, live and learn... I suppose the various zones are too well served by magazines from surrounding areas.

So is there a gardening magazine that covers the Mid-Atlantic then?

Janet's Garden

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 4:07PM
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That's a fair assessment. I think you'll be pleased since you're coming from a colder climate. You'll find that anything you grew up there is most likely going to grow here--we have our winters just not as long and extreme as yours. Some things that died back for you there might be evergreen here. There will be lots of things you wished you could grow up there that you'll finally be able to try here.

A huge bonus is going to be your getting a longer growing season. Even though I think it would be culture shock to move farther south, I think it would be more difficult for a gardener to move north. For instance, someone coming to Pennsyvlania from the south would be disappointed they couldn't grow many things here. But someone moving from Pennsylvania to the south would be thrilled at the many new options.

Here's a garden magazine for Washington D.C.:

Here's a Philadelphia Home and Garden magazine:

Here's an internet New Jersey Home and Garden Magazine:

Here's the Virginia Gardener Magazine:

Here's lots of Rhode Island information:

This Rhode Island magazine has a gardening section:

A Virginia Gardener Newsletter from Virginia Tech:

Here's a Virginia Gardener book at amazon:

Home Gardening in Northern New Jersey (internet mag):

The book "New Jersey's Gardener Guide, the what where how and when:

The Garden Post Newsletter, Philadelphia Extension Penn State:

New Jersey Gardener Newsletter (rutgers):

Here's a personal blog of a NY Gardener with pics:

The Wired Gardener Online Newsletter (Pa Hort Soc):

Apparently they do a "Philadelphia Green" in addition to a "Green Scene" Publication:

Have fun!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 11:12PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Janet - I would agree that the area has a very moderate climate - not extremely cold or extremely hot. Phoenixville is in one of the western suburbs, about 40 km (25 miles) west of Philadelphia. There are several posters who live in Chester County who could give you gardening info in addition to what are in the publications. Most of Chester County has always been farmland and is increasingly being developed, so if anything, it's quite fertile.

The town itself is about 18 km (11 miles) from the County Seat of West Chester (this being where the County's officials reside, including the courts, etc). There's a good description of the climate in the area from Penn State here. There's a good PA state USDA Zone map here where you can see the various hardiness Zones (temps are in ° F) a little better than the current USDA map, which is difficult to read in its current form down at the state level. Also the Sunset Zones for this area can be found here, where Chester County looks to be Sunset 34 (with description here).

The main thing to remember about this side of the state is that big old Atlantic Ocean that greatly influences our weather. It gives us extended warmth in the fall, but also often gives us extended chill in the spring - so it actually moderates any temperature extremes.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 7:52AM
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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

Thanks for all the great information! I'm glad they've added the Clippings feature to the forum. :o)

Maggiecola, I am getting old enough that moving seems less exciting than it used to and more of a pain, but you're right, I've been consoling myself with the very things you mentioned.

The chief blessing moving north confers in gardening terms is pest control. I have never seen a Japanese beetle. I don't want to either but I'm sure I will. My mother, who is further north than I am, has never seen an earwig, at least not in her garden. I doubt if she ever sees slugs either. I see plenty of them, but if we have a winter with a good hard cold snap, their numbers are noticeably smaller the next year. I always pray for a week of hard cold, but I don't always get it. You would be amazed at how many pests die after a week of high temps of -10F. We had a fairly mild winter this year and my flowerbeds are crawling.

Articles on magnolias in Canadian gardening magazines skip over fungal infections. They just aren't an issue here. We have a limited choice in cultivars, but the ones we grow stay nice and healthy with no effort on our part. There are a lot of plant diseases (and people ones too for that matter) that just can't survive in the Canadian climate.

So if you ever have to move north, you will find there are some differences that aren't too hard to adjust to... ;o)

Meanwhile, I am dreaming of styrax and wisteria.

Janet's Garden

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 9:15PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Janet - one of my sisters called me yesterday afternoon and bemoaned that the Japanese beetles had arrived in her yard and were all over her peach tree. I told her she was lucky because so many others had already reported them around weeks ago. You're right about the bugs, although I know we don't get as many as those even further south. The one that I haven't seen reported down here yet (and hope we never see it) is the Red Lily beetle that devastates the lilies of alot of folks in New England and possibly up as far as your area. Hopefully we can hold those off.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 9:39AM
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We don't really have problems with bugs in our gardens. I thought it was because we've had good bug years. But now that I'm reading your problems, I'm guessing it's because the garlic we grow all around in our beds is actually working to deter bugs.

My husband insisted on planting the garlic. At first I didn't like the idea of it messing up my 'look' but it actually just blends in and has a cool appearance. Give it a try. Just make sure you plant it towards the back to middle-back because it grows about between 2 to 3 feet high.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 2:28PM
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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

Jenny, yes we do get them, but I don't find them that hard to deal with. If you're vigilant early in the season, you can essentially nip them in the bud. Fortunately, the beetles are bright red, the eggs are bright orange and the larvae chew up leaves so fast that they can't go for very long without being noticed if you check frequently. I haven't lost a lily yet, and I tend to stuff my yard with them.

Maggie, it would be an interesting experiment to try plantin the garlic in a problem area and see what happens. I'll keep that in mind.

Janet's Garden

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 6:39PM
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