Monday, June 30, 2014

More thoughts on garden envy

In my last post, I lamented how I feel like my garden is behind everyone else even in my zone. I got a few comments telling me not to compare, as there are a lot of variables. This is true. "Zone" refers to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map, and really only categorizes average annual minimum winter temperatures. Another important variable is length of growing season, which I think has more effect on vegetable gardening, since few vegetables are true perennials that you have to worry about over-wintering. Of course minimum temperature and growing season are related, but not exactly causally.

We just returned from a short trip to Boulder, Colorado, for my niece's wedding. The parents of the groom hosted two lovely events at their beautiful home in the country outside of Boulder. Of course I was immediately drawn to their vegetable garden. It is so much more advanced than mine! But that is not surprising, since they started planting in March, and I barely had anything in the ground in late April. Imagine my surprise when I plugged their zip code into the USDA map, and found they are in exactly the same zone as me, 5B!

They are swimming in beautiful summer squash, while mine barely have 4 leaves.

Their beets are the size of baseballs, while mine just have taproots.

Carrots are huge, mine tiny.

Their tomatoes look like mine in August.

Onions dwarf mine.
Their kale does not seem to mind the 90 degree weather. I wonder if I can grow California poppies?

So I'm going to think more about the variables other than zone. It makes sense that no matter how cold it gets in the winter, it is important how quickly winter goes, and how soon it arrives.


1 comment:

  1. Interesting thoughts. There are so many variables in gardening, and the variables that make up each season in the exact same place can change so much year to year. That's why some years certain crops are amazing and other years, not so much! But don't get down. Keep growing and learning. Your harvest will come!