Delivering the Best News to you!

Welcome back to Good Gardening! In our Week 4 discussion, we wanted to know which zone our Good Gardeners were working from, and what were the risks and benefits associated with it. We took the conversation to social media and shared anecdotes.

Annie Chung posted all the way from Hong Kong! She told the group that there’s a tropical climate, but as an island with mountains nearby, the winds on Hong Kong can be fierce, and so protecting—especially young plants from the wind is vital.

Annie also sent in this incredibly complex plant map of China’s growing zones.

“Gardening is a popular hobby on the rooftop, in pots, indoor and actual farms. I have an indoor regrow garden as I am only here for weeks at a time,” she told us, adding in response to commenter Marianna that she lived in the Philippines as well, and has a garden there.

Michael Siler and Eileen Schurer wrote in from Zone 8 in the Pacific Northwest. Spring is too cold, wet, and filled with slugs, they explained, to do much gardening before May-June.

In contrast, Melissa Wold McCollum said she lives in 9B – Phoenix, Arizona, USA—and gets extreme heat, with an average of 9 inches of rain per year. “I need to water by hand and provide afternoon shade in the summer for many plants.” She’s also creating microclimates: “The main garden is where I get afternoon shade, and I put a fountain in that area to add a bit of humidity to the air, which is doing well. Then, I started planting fruit trees that could take full desert sun. They’ll provide some good shade in a few years, and then I’ll work on the next layer down. I use a temporary structure with shade cloth for the baby trees, until they get established. In the meantime, I’m growing plants that love the heat and sun against the back block wall, like loofah and roselle.”

Here is a U.S. map of Garden Zones, in case you need to figure out what grows well near you…Marianna Kokoreva from Zone 7 in New Jersey said she brings her mini roses inside during the winter. But warns that a Youtube video suggesting a homemade alcohol mix to deal with spider mites, was detrimental to the plant.