March 5 Column: Selecting Plants and Seeds

selecting plants and seeds

selecting plants and seedsMy garden columns seem to be coming fast and furious now that my writing season is underway! Today’s is about important regional considerations when selecting plants and seeds. Here is a link to it, in today’s edition of The Spokesman-Review: Know your zone to pick the right plants.

While this might seem like a dull topic, I feel this information really needs to be covered, especially for those who are either new to the area or brand-new gardeners. After all, I want everyone to be successful, right? 

But no matter where you live in the U.S., it’s crucial that you be aware of your USDA hardiness zone so you can choose wisely when buying perennials, trees and shrubs. That way, your plants should grow well and you won’t waste money on plants that really need a warmer climate. (note: if you don’t know your hardiness zone, here’s a link to the USDA’s interactive zone map)

selecting plants and seedsIn my column, I mentioned how the USDA updated their hardiness zone map a few years ago, and that moved the Spokane area up from zone 5 to zone 6. I also mentioned how I tend to err on the side of caution with my plant purchases, by selecting plants hardy at least down to zone 5, but even lower is better.

That’s for two reasons: one, there are many microclimates throughout Spokane and its outlying areas, and two, even though our winters aren’t as cold as they used to be, you just never know when Mother Nature is going to pull a fast one on us. So take that zone 6 label with a grain of salt!

OK, here is this week’s “Everyone Can Grow A Garden!” video that expands on today’s column. I hope you are enjoying them so far!

Next week, I’ll be covering seed-starting which is very exciting! We’ll all finally get to do something… that is, if you haven’t already. In my video, I’ll show you some of my favorite seed-starting systems. Have a great week!