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Finding Your Plant Hardiness Zone and Garden Planning

This week I started mapping out my gardening plan for 2018. Since Brandon and I are hoping to buy a little farm of our own soon I’m not planning to go crazy with our garden but I am going to do a little container gardening on our porch. I usually go to our local nursery and pick up seedlings once they are ready to go into containers but this year I’m starting a couple of little vegetable plants from seeds. I haven’t grown from seeds since I was in middle school but it’s worth trying especially since I have time and room. I ordered seeds from Eden Brothers a few days ago and I’m waiting for them to arrive.

Before I picked out my seeds I looked up the plant hardiness zone for Charleston, WV (find yours here). I didn’t confirm our plant hardiness zone last year before planting and my garden ended up being a hot mess. It was basically one fail after another and what the climate didn’t kill the local wildlife ate. Other than a few herbs and potatoes I didn’t have much homegrown food last year. Not to mention we got a late start due to our mid-summer move. Turns out, I’m in plant hardiness zone 6b which averages a minimum annual temperature of -5 to 0. Each zone typically has a 10-degree differential and is based on the average minimum temperature of the location. You can use your zone to determine which plants are going to grow best in your zone so you don’t waste time trying to grow something ill-suited for your area. 

I found this helpful calendar on Urban Farmer which has given me a great starting point for this year.

What to plant in zone 6b

I picked up broccoli and spinach seeds from Eden Brothers so I can go ahead and get them started in another week or so. That might be a little early, depending on our last frost, but I’ve seen conflicting reports about when to plant my seeds so I’m going to err on the side of being a little early. I might start a few more seeds on March 1st so I can compare and make notes for next year. I know once we have our own land to work it’ll be a bit easier than working in a mish mash of pots and containers but we’re getting there. 

More Love:   Heart-Shaped DIY Bird Feeders for Your Garden

I don’t know that I’m going to start anything else from seeds this year. I’ll probably wait until mid-march then pop seedlings from the nursery into containers on our porch. That’ll make it easier to transport once we buy a place and settle into our forever farm. Right now my garden plan is:

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Spinach
  • Tomato

and I hope I can keep the deer out of them! We have deer all over our mountain and last year I lost the battle. I followed a ton of different advice about how to keep them away but nothing worked. This year I hope to put up netting to keep them out long enough for us to move to our own place. Then I’m not sure what I’ll do but I’ll sort it out later. 

If you’re thinking of working in container gardening this year I highly recommend this book to get you started. It was a gift from my mother-in-law a few years back and it’s basically become my container gardening bible. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Have you mapped out your garden plan for the new year yet? 

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