Monday, July 25, 2011

Hardiness and Heat Tolerance - Rays of Change

As a teenager I could remember all the times in my life the temperature got over 85 degrees. Maybe it was that I grew up in Wisconsin, and maybe it was just less common then. I now look at both  U.S. Department of Agriculture's Plant Hardiness Zone Map to see if my plants will survive the winter and the American Horticultural Society Heat Zone Map to see if my plants will survive the summer!

Yes, I do believe in global warming.  Both zone maps were revised in 2003-2006 to reflect the hotter summers and more moderate winters. Case in point, I used to use this website to identify my zone. It lets you put in your zip code and shows the map with very nice detail.  That was until I noticed that it said that days over 88 Degrees were "rare" - Ha! not!   The city of Chicago has plans in development - really scary representation of the estimated climate change by 2090 and the impact on plants and animals.   So much so that I heard the city revised it's tree planting recommendations and not putting in more native trees like White oak because of heat/water considerations.

Differences between 1990 USDA hardiness zones and 2006 hardiness zones (wiki)

I'm only caring for my garden for a little time, I wonder what it will look like in 100 years? Wow I always wanted palm trees....

Today I'm singing "Hot Hot Hot"

Happy Gardening

Teresa Marie

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