I know Sunset zones are more helpful for gardeners in the West because they use many more factors (i.e. elevation) than just minimum winter temperatures (which is how we gardeners in the East get our zones). But I wonder if my sunset zone is more useful. In Connecticut, I am in USDA Hardiness Zone 6. My Sunset Zone is 34. Here is the description:
ZONE 34. Lowlands and Coast from Gettysburg to North of Boston
Growing season: late April to late Oct. Ample rainfall and humid summers are the norm. Winters are variable–typically fairly mild (around 20 degrees F/-7 degrees C), but with lows down to -3 degrees to -22 degrees F/-19 degrees to -30 degrees C if arctic air swoops in.
It sounds accurate, but when I read from the Sunset Northeastern Garden Book, it says: “This happy clime has predictable and temperate seasons with generous precipitation year-round.” I want to take issue with that, but I suppose it is true compared to other regions.
A few questions:
- Will following Sunset zones help me in any way?
- I have lived in Philadelphia, and I know they grow stuff I can’t — or have I been taught to think that by a USDA conspiracy?
- Why is there no Zone 33? Is it the USDA conspiracy at work again?
- Why doesn’t the USDA want us to know about Zone 33? What happens there?
- Will I actually remember to try to use this system next spring?
- How will nursery staff react when I ask them if a plant will grow in Sunset Zone 34?
- Will I be arrested if I ask them if a plant will grow in Zone 33?
- Has an FBI file been opened up already just because I wrote this blog?
If I am suddenly arrested on strange charges (smuggling illegal Swedish immigrants into the country so they can buy Hannah Montana merchandise, for example) or if I am “disappeared” please alert the media — and by that I mean the gardening blogosphere — and start looking for me in Zone 33.