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I guess that this post is intended to be informational, or at least interesting to those of us who still tend to think of growing zones 1-11. I learned this year that the plant hardiness zones were updated in 2012, and now range from 1-13 with subcategories a and b. At my location, the zone has been changed from 5 to 6a. No, that doesn't mean that it is 20% warmer now. It just means that with more data the USDA has been able to make greater distinction between growing areas.

Here's the summary of the revision: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/phzmweb/AboutWhatsNew.aspx

And, an interactive map if you'd like to find your hardiness zone: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

Have fun, and think about revising your signature line!
 

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Yup, it's much more accurate now. I just wish the heat zone map would gain some traction and become more widely known and used, too. The two together would give much more info on which plants will grow in what areas.

I work in a garden center and get asked often for plants that can't take our heat. People see them in the national magazines and want them, so when I tell them they won't grow here, the people always say, "Yes, it will! It's hardy to zone 7!" :pinch:
 

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The zip code lookup feature works properly with Chrome browser I am using. The zone results are returned just under and slightly to the right of the zip input box. The update to the page is rather subtle and I had to look twice to see that anything had actually changed.
 

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I would expect that dandelions would grow well in Austin. I can tell you from past experience that dandelions do quite well in Seattle. :D

You probably don't get many customers in your garden center asking for dandelions, even though they are decent bee forage. :)
 

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We experienced zone 4 temperatures this winter although we are officially 5A. I had one peach tree with some new growth (so it made it) but I'll be surprised to get any fruit. Now apples are another matter. They looked to be laughing off winter when I did my pruning a while back.
 

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the big box home stores and farm and garden stores all have peach trees for sale locally. I am in zone 4-b, they will not survive here long, same thing with tea-roses. you have to do your research before planting and adjust for your exact location.
 

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That's ok guys. We'll be happy to eat the peaches down here. If you've never had a tree ripened peach, you don't know what a peach tastes like. Peaches do not ripen once pulled from the tree. Once ripened, they don't ship. Tree ripes from the orchard last a few days at most on the counter. Just have to eat all you can in season :).
 

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I would expect that dandelions would grow well in Austin. I can tell you from past experience that dandelions do quite well in Seattle. :D

You probably don't get many customers in your garden center asking for dandelions, even though they are decent bee forage. :)
:D You'd be surprised, Rader - we've got quite a few people who ask for them! LOL! We don't have many salad greens, or greens for that matter, that grow in the heat (my collards and kale are blooming and on their way out right now, lettuce is long gone), so people do their research, learn that dandelions are edible, and want to buy them. We tell them to just go look in their yard, but some people want instant gratification - buy it and plant it without having to dig one up or collect seeds and wait for them to grow. I've been thinking of collecting seed so I can try to start some in pots and make a little extra money. ;)

the big box home stores and farm and garden stores all have peach trees for sale locally. I am in zone 4-b, they will not survive here long, same thing with tea-roses. you have to do your research before planting and adjust for your exact location.
Man, you got that right, Matheson. I HATE telling people that that Red Delicious apple tree they bought from Wal Mart five years ago just isn't going to ever produce. I work the info desk, so at least I get a chance to teach them about chill hours, appropriate site selection, etc.

That's ok guys. We'll be happy to eat the peaches down here. If you've never had a tree ripened peach, you don't know what a peach tastes like. Peaches do not ripen once pulled from the tree. Once ripened, they don't ship. Tree ripes from the orchard last a few days at most on the counter. Just have to eat all you can in season :).
Oh, you are so right, Ross. Same with figs. I just started a little orchard that eventually will be an acre or so in size. I plan to sell them at an honor stand at my front gate. The only advertising I'll need is a sign that says "Fresh PEACHES."
 

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Mine is unchanged, but I signed up recently. 6a, but the other side of our mountain ridge is 5b. And just for proof, my wife lost a lot of plants over the winter. The measure of a bad winter is that her rosemary dies, and it did.

Good fruit that won't ship: paw paws. They're the regional secret. You almost never find them in stores because they perish easily, but the fruit is delicious. We have some seedlings started. Hopefully the bees will like them too.
 
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