central oregon gardens?

come about end of june or july, or whenever my present home has been sold, my family and i will be hop(ping), skip(ping), and jump(ing) our way to west-central oregon...about 25 minutes east of klamath falls, to be exact.
i AM aware the climate is akin to high desert; but i'm not sure about anything else, even though i've written extensive letters to OSU (oregon state u)...and i was wondering if anyone here can help me??
i'm looking for info about what the usda zone is? (i'm thinking zone 6? the winter temperature is not supposed to drop below 5 degrees F). also, the soil is sandy with a high content of lava rock---and i'm wondering if the soil could be anything like the lava-type soil in hawaii---rich and good growing medium??? i'm pretty sure the pH will be pretty close to equal between alkaline and acidic, but there, too, i'm not having any GOOD idea, at all.
so, please...if there's anyone here who lives in or near klamath falls (bonanza, sprague river <the town, not the river>, olene, dairy, etc.) could you give me some ideas what to look forward to?? i would love to, once again, be able to grow russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) trees; lots and lots of spearmint & peppermint; i REALLY, REALLY want another Fagus sylvatica 'tricolour'---and many other goodies i used to grow in usda zone 5,sl,ut..... so....ANY and ALL help would truly be appreciated.....and if you wish to respond to me and/or the group, my REAL email addy is below my signature; and i thank you, in advance, for your efforts.
~~gypsy
--
With Malus toward none, and Cherry-Trees toward all.
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Klamath Falls and eastward are designated as Zone 1 in Sunset. Basically that designation means cold winter temperatures, (as low as -25 or -30) frozen ground for long periods, and weeks or months with snow on the ground. The volcanic soil is likely to be very rich - but it will need a lot of irrigation in that climate. (I'm guessing 10-15 inches of precipitation a year, most of that coming in the form of winter snows). The high altitude will insure very cool nights, even in summer, so you will be able to grow superb poppies, sweet peas, larkspur, delphinium, lavatera and the like. Warm weather annuals and vegetables will be iffy....Depending on altitude, your new USDA zone may be as low as 4. However, with global warming, most of the west is now one zone higher than previously. Yes, russian olives will do very well. And lombardy poplars will be very healthy there too.

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i don't know a whit about the 'sunset' zones based on the fact that is purely a western ideal; however, i MUST disagree with these ideas you've laid out in your posting....go to:
http://www.city-data.com/city/Klamath-Falls-Oregon.html
and check out the lower part of the page. i DO believe 4000 weather stations are more in the know than a magazine based in california!!!
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frogfrog, that data doesn't represent 4000 stations in Klamath Falls - it represents 4000 stations around the entire US to get the averages for the statistical line for the US. Here is a more detailed and accurate guide to the weather in Klamath Falls: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?orklam
You will notice from this chart that the daily low temperature average doesn't climb above freezing until April, and is below freezing again in November. The average annual precipitation is 13.72 inches. So far, I (and Sunset) are 100% on the money. 38 inches of snowfall annually. I'm not quite sure what your issues are in regard to what I wrote. The chart below shows record low temperatures for Klamath Falls - apparently it's gone down to -25 F a number of times.. http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?sY8527

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wrote:

The zones come from a book "Sunset Western Gardens" which everyone should have. See if you can't find it at a library or book store, check it out. It's good. The magazine used to be good at one time.
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