Question Re: best, longest growing season in US

Hi: I'm curious about what area of the country is considered to have the longest growing season and the best land to grow - what we used to call a "truck garden" - fruit trees, vegetables and flowers? I'm thinking somewhere in the south?
Thanks, Connie
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Connie, I would have to say the best place for a 'truck' garden would have to be south eastern texas, just inland enough to avoid any potential tropical storms. Expect a winter climate zone of 8-9.
Others may disagree
Anthony B.
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Southeast Texas? Really? What cities?
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On 6 Jan 2006 19:38:25 -0800, "Boxwood Studios"

Hawaii?
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I'm guessing some near-coastal areas of Southern California would be more "usable" year-round than the deep south. Most spring cool weather crops could still be grown there year round, and yet there's enough heat for summer crops like beans and tomatoes. Flowers would be less susceptible to driving rains and thunderstorms in summer, and to frost damage in winter.
wrote:

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Hawaii is in the west. Far west in the Pacific ocean.
Maybe he wants to start a truck farm in Brownsville, Texas with illegal aliens picking fruits & veggies?
wrote:

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Boxwood Studios wrote:

Salinas, CA. Only crops/trees that require a lot of heat or cold to produce do not grow well here. I grow pretty much year-round, selecting plants to match the season. I always have flowers of some sort growing.
The downside is that it is a very expensive place to live.
-matt
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Out of curiousity, among those who are the more experienced gardeners, where, would you say, in the United States, will you find the place that as, overall, the longest growing season and the best soil? (For what we used to call "truck" gardening - vegetables, fruit trees and flowers).
I'm thinking the southern United States somewhere, but I don't know.
Thanks! Connie
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I'll toss in Hawaii. The rich broken down volcanic soil sustains a multitude of plant life pretty much all year round. Of course the plantings are tropical and sub-tropical in nature. And there are definitely seasonal fruits. But as long growing seasons go, Hawaii is tough to beat.
The problem, of course, is that the larger markets are like 2,400 miles away. And land/water is not as plentiful as here on the Mainland.

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On Sat, 07 Jan 2006 09:11:12 GMT, "Lawrence Akutagawa"

what commercial crops are grown there now? Seems I heard they did away with sugar and pineapple, that was the big things when I lived there.
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In regard to sugar, Hawaii's sugar industry under stress - Hawaiian sugar cane acreage and production decreases to 26% of U.S. cane production, down from 38% in 1975 - U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service report
Charles wrote:

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A google of hawaiian pineapple brought up a dozen companies that grow and sell pineapple in the Hawaiian Islands.
Charles wrote:

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Hard to believe, but we visited Alaska and they were growing some of the biggest vegetables there I have ever seen.
Boxwood wrote:

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I've traveled all over the US except Hawaii and the place I've consistency seen truck farming year around is western Oregon.
Tom J
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Actually, contrary to conventional wisdom, it is the Matanuska Valley in Alaska near Palmer. The reason being that they have a short summer, but the sun shines 24-hours a day during this short summer. They pride themselves in the huge vegetable and flowers they can grow, some of the largest in the world.
The University of Alaska has a campus there and the University of Alaska has an agricultural and forestry experiment station there. The valley is renowned for the annual Alaska State Fair, where local farmers produce award winning vegetables. Best known are the incredibly large vegetables grown in the almost constant summer sunlight, including 75 pound cabbages, ten pound onions and 125 pound pumpkins.
Check out: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/07/06/MNGANDJFVM1.D TL
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wrote:

Look at the title of the thread "best, LONGEST growing season in US. Palmer wouldn't come close to qualifying, besides, the developers are buying up the best farm land and covering it with buildings. The actual *sun* shining hours are nearer 20 hours a day in summer, although it never gets dark. Most of the crop there is now irish potatoes.
Tom J
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Some interesting replies.
"Overall" is a flexible concept, methinks.
The question could be asked WHICH "vegetables, fruit trees and flowers".
For example, here in So. Calif coastal I grow things all year, but different things, depending if it's our "winter" with its shorter days, or our summer, with its longer days and somewhat more heat. This year -- global warming?? -- it has been in the 70's and 80's in January!
We can't grow crops that require winter chill, like apples [1] and blueberries [2]. So the same might apply to Hawaii, which probably has the most lush, tropical growing climate. They can grow some things that Alaska [3] can't, but not crops that require winter chill.
As to soil, depends on whether it's naturally good or has to be modified. Soil in So. Calif is "naturally" adobe, but can be, and in my case has been, modified to yield great crops. The people I bought the house from had diligently modified the soil, so all I had to do was carry on.
[1] Amazingly, I have friends that live 10 miles inland where it can get hot, but they have an apple tree that yields the most delicious, huge apples. Go figure.
[2] Didn't they develop a strain of blueberries that *can* be grown in a mild Mediterranean climate such as So. Calif coastal, where there is no frost or winter chill? (Though there can be frost in the inland valleys, I hear.)
[3] Alaska's very short growing season is balanced by 24-hour sunshine. I remember my first visit to Anchorage, where I was blown away by the huge flower baskets suspending from the utility poles.
Persephone
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On Sat, 07 Jan 2006 11:02:15 -0800, Persephone wrote:

want apples? try "Dorset Golden." I've seen them grown to excelent characteristics, mine aren't that good, but I don't care for them properly. A very tasty, no-chill fruit.
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