Return to the Great Lakes Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

being near water

Posted by taipc 5b (My Page) on
Sun, May 13, 12 at 1:02

I have a raised garden bed on the Toronto Island, it is about 15 feet from the lake on two sides. Does being so near water make the zone rating higher or lower?

I planted some gladiolus last year and removed them in the fall. But I just found that a cormlet left behind has sprouted so the winter didn't kill it - mind you it was a very mild winter.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: being near water

Absolutely.....until the ice forms, then you're cold like everyone else.

Toronto Islands benefit from both the Toronto heat island and Lake Ontario but winter N, NW, or NE winds don't warm up a whole lot by going over 1.5km of water and they won't warm up at all if the lake is frozen.

That said, I have a clump of showy red glads that have survived 5 years (Kingston, ON) though the lack of snow this year may have cut them back a bit. So growing glads in warmer areas of southern Ontario may not actually be very difficult.

RE: being near water

Even in the winter if ice forms, you will find that low temperatures are moderated within a mile or so of large bodies of water as compared to inland locations. This is why you typically see a narrow band of a warmer zone along the shores, particularly the leeward shores, of the Great Lakes.

RE: being near water

I'm in Toronto beaches and that makes my area Canadian Zone 6b. I noticed that compared to downtown it's a little cooler by the lake in the summer and a little warmer in the winter.

From the Toronto Gardens blog:
"In Canadian terms, Toronto is broadly Zone 6; in USDA terms, it's Zone 5. Our closeness to the Great Lakes moderates temperature highs and lows and increases precipitation.

Within the GTA, the specifics of your landscape can push you higher or lower. Close to Lake Ontario, you're more likely to be Zone 6b and might have a microclimate (a pocket that is a zone unto itself) that's Zone 7. In a more exposed situation, or farther from the lake, you might be Canadian Zone 5a or 5b."

That being said, I don't think it makes a huge difference in our plant selections. Climate change is scary but it we had a great winter, didn't we:)

RE: being near water

I think it does in one way, and not in another if that makes any sense. We're across the water from you on the NY side of Ontario. We always talk about the "invisible line" that exists here in the spring especially-you can drive from about 10 miles away and go from "omg it's SOOOO HOTTTT" to "uh, where's my sweatshirt". The "line" does seem to move. Earlier it was about 2-3 miles inland, then about a week ago it seemed to go through our backyard (we're directly on the lake). I noticed my plants bloom about 1-3 weeks behind others that are more inland. I also noticed that plants that aren't supposed to do well here do. There's a specific lavender, I'd have to look it up, that isn't supposed to be hardy here and it's grown HUGE at our cottage! In fact, it's sending up flowers right now :) So..I think it throws the seasons off a little, but they are still about the same-just a little later.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Great Lakes Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here