Moving to Richmond

calibundaJune 14, 2007

Hello gardeners of Richmond! I have recently purchased a home in the area and will be moving there in July. It has a nice big yard, but I've never lived in Virginia before, so I don't know what the growing climate is like. What is the soil like? What are the winters like? Can you fill me in? I've lived in Southern California and Northern Utah up until now, if that helps.

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When you say the Richmond area, that encompasses a lot of variety in soil types and some differences in climate zones. Where in the area will you be? East and south of Richmond tend to have sandy soils and warmer temperatures while west and north are usually clay with somewhat cooler temperatures.

We usually get enough rainfall throughout the year except for July and August when we can get a mini drought and most things will need watering. But if we get the remnants of a hurricane or two, we can have more than abundant water. Floods along the river and streams are common during bad thunderstorms and tropical storms.

Lawns are almost always turf type fescue with a few going for zoysia or bermuda if you can stand them being tan for 4 months of the year.

Winters are usually relatively mild with a few nights getting into the low teens and once every few years getting closer to 0 degrees. Daytime highs average in the upper 40s with nighttime lows in the 20s. Summer can be HHH - hazy, hot, and humid. Temps in the upper 80s are average and up to 100 or so is not uncommon for a few days each summer. Humidity is pretty bad but nowhere near as bad as further south.

Of course, all of this is just general information and can vary quite a bit from year to year. There are active cooperative extension offices and Master Gardener Volunteers in most counties around the area who will be delighted to help you with any gardening questions you might have as well as here on the forum.

If you tell me where you're moving to, I can probably get more info for you and point you to garden centers close by as well as the extension office in the locality.

Good luck in your gardening and welcome to Richmond!


    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 9:56AM
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leslies(z7 No VA)

You can grow lots of things in Richmond, but it will be totally different from both SoCal and Utah, that's for sure!

For one thing, it's muggy in the summer and probably generally wet compared to where you're used to. You also have to deal with winter, though winter in Richmond isn't particularly challenging, all things considered (except for the occasional ice storm). Richmond is just southern enough that you can grow many plants typical of the south - camellias, magnolias - that don't do especially well just an hour or two north up by me. Other midatlantic favorites like roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, boxwood, rosemary, bellflowers, balloonflowers, callas, gladiolas, peonies, dogwood and redbud are common.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 6:05PM
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Welcome to Richmond! You will get a quick dose of our Summers if you're moving here in July! It can definitely get HHH for our Summers, but the way I look at it, that's the price we pay for our beautiful Spring, Fall, and mild Winters! It's great to be able to work in the yard almost year-round. Take a look around town when you move here and see what's growing, and that will get you started. I live in Chesterfield County, and can pass along the County Extension website if you'd like.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 11:29AM
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