Return to the Rocky Mountain Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Gardening zone

Posted by mizwilly Idaho (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 14, 12 at 0:00

Is the base of the Idaho panhandle, microclimate zone 4b, considered Rocky Mountain or Pacific Northwest?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Gardening zone

See, this is a question that used to bother me just a bit . . . as I tried to fit in with Puget Sound and Multnomah Valley gardeners.

Now, if you think about it for a moment, it is impossible to have the same expectations and experiences where the growing season is less than 5 months, less than 20 inches of rain/snow fall each year, and winter temperatures always reach sub-zero. I mean, every afternoon these days - humidity levels drop below 20% and the temperature is 35 degree higher than it was that morning. Does that sound like the Puget Sound? No.

I think the flora and fauna differ remarkably. I can point to a few things that are common here and completely missing on the other side of the Cascades. Personally, I think that Sunset has done the work for us. On their gardening zone maps, Zone 2 and Zone 3 run throughout the Intermountain West and are entirely missing from west of the Cascades.

Welcome to the forum, MizWilly.


RE: Gardening zone

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 14, 12 at 13:16

Hi Miz,

Nice to see a new face around here!

Digit's the expert since he lives up thataway, and I way agree with him! I don't think there'd be much similarity at all to the wet, warm, lowland gardening near the coast. Wherever exactly you are, I'm guessin' you have Digit's short growing season, low precip, low humidity, wide day/nite temp swings--and "unfortunate" soil! That would put you with the rest of us, "I can do this! I KNOW I can really, really do this" gardeners! And, yeah, you/I/all of us, really, really CAN do it! We prove it every day and every year!

Are you really sure you're in a 4b microclimate? Check out the (fairly recent) USDA map below. It's showing everything up in the panhandle, all the way down to south of Coeur d'Alene, to be zone 6, and going all the way down to a 4 seems like a big swing. You must be in some sort of a little rock basin or the bottom of a valley where the cold air settles or something. The linked map is interactive and you can zoom in as far as you want to and then click on the "zones" around the edges to highlight whichever zones you want to.

There hasn't been much action around here on RMG lately, but hopefully it'll pick up again soon. Hope you'll be around to join in our conversations.

Welcome to RMG,

P.S. Digit, Woodle is doing great--Rainey's not so much! Haven't had time to post lately--getting ready for my vacation---up your direction this year, but not that far! But I WILL be staying in Idaho for 4 nites--at Island Park! (Yellowstone!) My tomatoes got put in WAY late this year, but are doing pretty well, and I'll be back with a complete report sometime after I get home--assuming my hard drive with all my notes doesn't crash again this year!

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA Interactive Zone Map

 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 Rocky Mountain 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