yet another question about a usda zone

please, can anyone tell me the usda zone of a) the location of albuquerque, NM b) if different, the area apx. 35 miles south of albuquerque (it CAN be different, as the altitude is lower than albuq)
i'd really appreciate it so i can start planning all the goodies i'm gonna be able to grow (am now in New Hamster zone 4a). oh gosh, i'm so excited about this i've begun to dream of flowers every night---it's so colourful---at times, i don't want to awaken!!!!
thanks, in advance.
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wrote:

try here:
http://www.gardenweb.com/zones/zip.cgi
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actually, i was seeking a simple answering like: hey! raindear: the zone is.....NM z.... whatever
i don't LIVE there....hence, i don't know the zips. i've been investigating buying land and/or real properties there, not zips; BUT i am an eager and anxious gardener who has lived in zone 4a TOO LONG and am eagerly anticipating a zone like 6? 7? heck!! i'd even take 5 at this point---i just feel VERY underachieving being in zone4. it has so many limitations regarding the plants "I" like. don't get me wrong--there are WONDERFUL things growing in them thar woods; i just, at times, feel bereft of plants i'd fallen in love with in zone 5 and 7.
so....anyone else?? oh!!! and PLEASE....do not give me an EARL that has the stupid USDA map....not only does one need a microscope to see the teeny areas, the biggest bad thing is the colours they use are all so quite similar---it's VERY difficult to tell one pink from another pink. at least for someone like me who is legally blind. (not blonde---BLIND)
thanks anyways, charles. i DO appreciate any response.
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wrote:

One zip code for Albuquerque is 87101. that puts it in USDA zone 7. Sunset Western Gardens Book has a different zone system, more detail and more factors considered. they show the same zone from Albuquerque on down El Paso and on into Mexico as being the same climate. That is in the river valley, east and west of the valley it gets cold.
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wrote:

Google, by your own advice.
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I will send you a Western Sunset Garden book which divides the zones west of the Mississippi into more concise understandable zones. The Sunset book is awesome. And the local used bookstore apparently has over a dozen slightly used Western Sunset Garden books for about $7 each because the people here buy them not realizing that they need the NATIONAL Gardening book to apply the extended zones to Eastern Tennessese.. I'm going into town today, I'll get your copy today and mail it off tomorrow madgardener up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, SUNSET zone 36

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By 35 miles south of Albuquerque, do you mean near Los Trujillos or Belen? From the plant hardiness zone map at: http://www.growit.com/bin/USDAZoneMaps.exe?MyState=NM
Albuquerque looks like zone 7B and the area around Los Trujillos or Belen is 7A.

Hardiness zone is basically a way to categorizing the coldness of the winter. It only has a weak correlation with when it is safe to plant frost tender plants. That is based upon the last killing frost. In desert climates, this date is much later because of the wide daily temperature extremes.
Based upon the last kiling frost map at: http://www.nm.nrcs.usda.gov/Technical/fotg/section-1/maps/datelastkillfro stspring.jpg
The average last killing frost in Albuquerque is between April 15 and 20. In Belen and Los Turjillos, it is between April 10 and 15.
Since weather is seldom average, the other important date is the "Frost Free Date" which is actually the date there is a 90% chance that there will be no frost and when it is assumed safe to plant tender crops like tomatoes if one checks the weather report first. (in other words, don't use this date blindly, there is a 10% chance this date is wrong and the weather report can tell you if it is likely) Based upon the chart at: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/documentlibrary/freezefrost/Spring32F.pdf
The date that there is less than a 10% chance of frost is around May 25. That is due to the desert climate and the wide swing in daily temperature. There is also a heat zone that determines what plants can be gown. Many nurseries haven't started supporting the heat zone yet. Using the heat zone map at: http://www.ahs.org/publications/heat_zone_map.htm
The heat zone is 8 meaning that it has 90 to 120 days above 86F each year.
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Know that after you find your zone you still have to worry about how your exact plot lays out. It makes a dramatic difference to what plants can thrive. I always think of USDA as an important guide for perennials, surviving winter and all. But thriving plants are affected by the exact spot you put them in. If I recall the books Madgardener suggests make this point nicely.
An example is low ground, such as that beneath my retaining wall, is very cool and damp. In the summer it gets that overhead baking heat at midday, but then a good portion of the day it keeps cooler. It was the last patch of grass to burn yellow last summer. Cool air drifts down from the house and surrounding property and settles there. Meanwhile, 20 feet away, the digital thermometer at the back of the house regularly reads over 100 degrees on the porch during spring and summer(I'm in NY). The intense southern sun reflecting off the house, the stone walls, the concrete patio, the slate walk concentrates the heat. If I didn't get breezes from all the open air (no enclosing fences, too close houses, thick hedges) the plants would bake.
I've grown zone 9-10 plants in 6b/7 no problem.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 4th year gardener http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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You'll need to think about one fact of life out there, you'll be living in a DESERT and depending on if your using city water or have a water well, you may have a lot smaller garden that your dreaming of.
--

The Lone Sidewalk Astronomer of Rosamond
Telescope Buyers FAQ
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RAINDEAR wrote:

Others have suggested using Sunset zones instead of USDA zones, but they fail to indicate why.
The USDA zones are based entirely on winter low termperatures. While this is important relative to the hardiness of certain plants and the needs of other plants for winter chill, it fails to address such issues as length of winter freezes, amount of summer heat, winds, humidity, length of growing seasons, when is the wet season, etc.
The Sunset zones take more of the climate into account. For example, in southern California, the difference between adjacent coastal and inland climate zones might be determined by the amount of haze and humidity in the summer coastal zone (caused by evaporation from the ocean), both of which are missing in the inland zone. This can make a difference whether fuschias can be grown.
The area you indicate is likely USDA zone 7: average annual minimum temperature 0-10F. It is likely Sunset zone 10: high desert areas of Arizona and New Mexico, 75-100 nights below 32F, winter chill lasting as late as April, growing season lasting 185-225 days, summers not as hot as California and Nevada deserts, summers sometimes wetter than winters.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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Thank you, David! Here is a person askiing for advice, not push the button and find there is no human involved in the situation! If I can answer a simple question, I will and always have done so. Ha, ha! Try moving from Ma to Md and now in Fl.
Any, thank you for giving a good answer and not some url. (by the way, we are moving to Tn! ah, some interesting gardening...)
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gloria - only the iguanas know for sure



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