zone 4 urban gardener - Minneapolis

A day ago we had indian summer, 85 and humid, now we're getting torrential rain, and there's a winter storm warning in the northwest corner of the state. Chill can't be ignored.
I built a very big compost bin, and planted about fifty new bulbs and I'm ready for winter, but still its kind of melancholly. At least I have something to look forward too. In about 3 weeks we'll have the rain storm that will strip all the leaves from the trees.
Gardening makes winter easier, although I wonder what living in zone 5 or 6 would be like. Zone envy bah!
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On 5 Oct 2005 00:31:37 -0700, "Andy MPLS 44:59:56 N - 93:19:3.018 W"
Hi Andy
I'm Derryl, a Horticulturalist in Calgary; Zone 3A. We have had snow already. We have 90 days of frost free gardening. We have a night tempurature of 50 F.
We have nice gardens and flowers. We don't grow cucumbers, tomatoes or corn. The irrigation district to the South grows Corn under irrigation.
Have a nice day.
snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca
Derryl

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Derryl wrote:

I'm surprised you don't grow tomatoes - Early Girl (60 days to maturity) and similar varieties should do OK if set out the end of May, even in Calgary. Yeah, I know you might have to provide frost protection occasionally, even in August, but hey, that's the price you pay for living within sight of the Rockies, you lucky sods. :-)
BTW, Canadian and USDA Zones don't match. Minneapolis is in our Zone 5. I'm in Zone 4b (Midnorthern Ontario).
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well I am zone 5 (nova scotia) and I just planted 3 highbushblueberry bushes this weekend and a Hydragea. My bulbs aren't ready yet to go in yet, and the weather has been hovering around 20 Celius, and sunny. we could use some rain, the well is getting low.
The leaves are just starting to change color and I have a ton of work to do to get the garden off to bed ,although some things are still blooming and my garden needs another 2 weeks to ripen the tomatoes.(as if) we had a miserable spring but now are making up with a beautiful fall.
--
:) Lynn


"Andy MPLS 44:59:56 N - 93:19:3.018 W" < snipped-for-privacy@msn.com> wrote in message
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http://www.blossomswap.com/zone.html
If we moved the border south I'd be in zone five? Hmmmm. We'd also have a parlimentary system, and that buffoon in Washington would have to think on his feet and we could vote him out. Gosh, I'm pining.
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That's not very Minnesota nice, now is it? I am in Hawaii zone 11, where there is no horticultural rest. It's a 24/7 party. If I were in your neck I would plant some dogwood bushes for the red color in winter.
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Hawaii..........if you got a seed catalog, mid winter it would probably be meaningless to ya. Wow. At least both of us aren't in Iraq, there's nothing green there, Sandstorms, and 140 degree summers. AND, THAT's without bombs and bullets whizzing all over. Oh to be free, of bombs and bullets eh? (working on my Canadian) I suppose they do have oasis.
I have plated a zillion bulbs and have about a 3 weeks to dig some more before I'm chased inside by dark and sleet.
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America's war against Iraq is a bad thing, sure, but botanically Iraq is a fascinating place. A number of native tulip species, unique strains of cyclamens, wild daffodils, fritillaries, irises, scillas, galanthus. A number of medicinal plants used throughout the near east are native to Iraq, & in less troubled times herbal remedies were Iraq's #1 non-wood forestry export for Ephedra, Achillea, aromatic astragalus, wormwood, sages, bachelor buttons, licorice root, cleome, & other herbals, much else explored in H. L Chakravarty's THE PLANT WEALTH OF IRAQ.
For a large area of the country conditions are similar to those for a large area of the American Southwest including Texas, Arizona, & northern Mexico, hardly places devoid of interesting native plantlife. But Iraq is surprisingly large & diverse in terrain so there are alpine zones in the north, wetlands all along the Tigris & Euphrates & lesser river ecosystems, the Zagros Mountain oak forests descending into a dry steppe forest. The broadleaf & conifer forests along the Turkey/Kurdistan borders are famed for figs, dates, cedars, oaks, & dwarf pines (in better times Iraq was one of the top-two exporters of dates & figs second only to Egypt). And coastal brackish marsh ecosystems. Many areas that are hot & dry for summer & autumn are extremely rainy & cool winter & spring, so simply burst into flower for part of the year.
Over half Iraq is desert, but that still leaves at least 40% varied ecosystems, including 13% of the coutnry which is forest. Even the vast desert regions have variety from lush oasis ecosystems to desert shrublands. Dead-center in the "worst" desert wilderness gazelles & ibex manage to find enough plantlife to thrive year-round, & though rain is sparse, when it does rain the landscape turns into a pallet of fast-growing annuals that explode into color, toss seeds, & the seeds wait for the next rainfall.
A famous southern Iraq marshland -- which Saddam did try to destroy in the 1990s because an ancient marshland tribe was rebellious -- is making a surprising recovery all on its own since the levies Saddam built to destroy the land have been blown up to restore the wetlands. The area has been identified by religious archeologists as the site of the original Garden of Eden, kept lush by the Tigris & Euphrates. And of course, the famed Hanging Garden of Babylon was located in an area that is today Iraq.
Surprisingly the main threats to Iraqi plant species has not been war but commercial collecting of bulbs which adapt to European climates pretty well & are hugely in demand by us rich decadent westerners; plus urbanization, & clearcutting of forests (presently largely for fuel, but there was intense commercial clearcutting during 1990s). War's contribution is that it creates so much chaos that bulb poachers can do pretty much whatever they want. Yet the worst time for the forests was in the 1990s when the most destructive deforestation projects were overseen by Saddam looking for alternate sources of wealth; commercial forestry collapsed in 2001, if anything "good" can be imagined to have come out of the vietnamization of Iraq.
-paghat the ratgirl
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very informative. unfortunately it will be a while till things like gardening will take precedent there.
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I don't think I am alone when I conjure up the image of a man in a white robe standing on a sand dune.
An x lives in Foley; wish I would hear from her.
Good night, Gracie.
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