Zone 8: What Is It?
The term “zone” refers to the area bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Canada to the west, Mexico to the south and Alaska/Hawaii (Bermuda) to the east. There are two main types of zones; tropical and temperate. Tropical zones include those in which most of the year’s average temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius). These zones typically have hot summers and cold winters. Temperate zones, on the other hand, generally experience cooler temperatures during the summer months and warmer ones during the winter months. Some areas of these zones are permanently cool or warm due to their location.
In addition to temperature differences there are seasonal variations in precipitation patterns. For example, some areas receive more rain than others during certain times of year.
This means that when it comes to growing plants in zone 8, you need to take into account both climate and rainfall conditions.
What Are The Benefits Of Growing Plants In Zone 8?
When compared with other climates, the benefits of growing plants in zone 8 are numerous. One major benefit is the ability to grow many species of plants without having them compete for space or water resources. Another advantage is that zones 9 through 12 offer higher levels of sunlight than any other part of your home. This means that you can grow more plants for longer periods of time.
As you will soon discover, the amount of sunlight a plant receives is sometimes just as important as water and nutrients. In other words, one of the most important things you need to do before growing plants in zone 8 is to make sure you have a suitable light source.
If you don’t have adequate lighting, your plants simply won’t be able to thrive.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Zone 8?
The main drawback of growing plants in zone 8 is the fact that it is still not warm enough to grow certain species. For example, if you live in an area of the country that gets snowfall during the winter months, your chances of growing exotic fruit trees and other popular items is extremely low. This is due to the fact that colder weather inhibits specific biological processes within plant cells.
Another drawback of zone 8 is that it can sometimes be too dry. This is especially true if you do not have adequate ways of adding moisture to the air.
One way of getting around this is by planting certain trees that are known to thrive in arid and semi-arid conditions.
What Zone Am I In?
If you are unsure as to what zone you live in, there are several resources you can consult. One of the easiest ways to do this is to contact your local government council. Most towns and cities have a map that classifies each area according to its corresponding zone number. Alternatively, you can also go online and perform a search for your city and/or street. This should provide you with a map that shows both your location in relation to the rest of the city as well as any nearby bodies of water.
How Big Is My Area?
Another thing you need to know is how much space you have to work with. This may seem silly and something that is unnecessary to know, but having this information readily available can help eliminate a lot of guess work. For example, if you live in a detached house in a rural area, you have a lot more space than someone who lives in an apartment in a city.
If you are trying to grow food, it is always better to have more space. If you are growing food to feed yourself or your family on a daily basis, then you will need even more space.
If the goal is to grow food for supplementary purposes, such as creating extra money by selling what you don’t need, then a smaller area can be used.
What Is The Climate Like?
One of the most important things to pay attention to is the climate. You not only need to take into account the amount of sunlight your plants will receive on a yearly basis, but you also need to make sure that the plants you are growing aren’t going to freeze in the winter. There is little point in growing fruit trees if they are going to freeze and die.
Other things to keep in mind include:
Humidity: plants that require high humidity levels (such as tropical plants or plants that like damp soil) usually do better in zones with more precipitation.
Soil conditions: in some cases, the type of soil you have available may limit your plant choices. For example, some plants need acidic soil conditions (such as rhododendrons) while other plants prefer basic soil (such as azaleas).
Annual rainfall: annual rainfall is a good indication of how much water is going to be available for your plants on an annual basis. If you pick a zone that has high rainfall, you don’t need to worry as much about watering your plants.
Can I Add A Greenhouse Or Shed?
If you find that the climate where you live is not suitable for growing certain plants, then you may want to consider adding a greenhouse or shed to your property. This can be a good way of extending the growing season for your plants. If you are really lucky, the zone that you live in may have mild enough winters that you can grow plants inside your house all year round (provided you have enough sunlight coming in).
One thing you need to keep in mind is that greenhouses do take up a lot of space. If you don’t already have a property, then you may need to buy one that is bigger than you really need.
Alternatively, you can buy or build your greenhouse on the cheap without a solid foundation. This can save you some money in the short term, but can be risky if you live in an area that is prone to severe weather conditions.
Greenhouses aren’t the only things that you can add. If you want to grow large trees, you will need a very large area.
You could buy or build a simple shed to gain some extra space if you don’t already have enough room.
How Much Time And Money Do I Have?
Something else that you will need to take into consideration is how much time and money you are willing to spend in order to create your garden. You will need to buy a piece of land and then either build or buy the necessary equipment that you need in order to grow your plants. If you are on a tight budget, you may only be able to afford to build a simple greenhouse with few bells and whistles.
If you have more time than money, then you may want to try doing some of the work yourself. Not only will this help to keep costs down, but you also get the added satisfaction of creating your own garden.
Do I Want To Raise Animals As Well?
If you want a good diversity in your garden, you may want to consider raising some animals. Not only are animals great for keeping your soil healthy (via manures), some animals (such as bees) can help you with producing honey and other goods that you can sell.
The first thing you need to think about is how much space you have. You are going to need enough space not only keep your animals, but also to raise their feed as well.
You are also going to have to check with your local laws, as some cities do not allow roosters within city limits (they tend to wake up the entire town with their crowing).
Do I Want To Do This Full Time?
Sources & references used in this article:
Maize shoot and root response to root zone saturation during vegetative growth by JI Lizaso, JT Ritchie – Agronomy Journal, 1997 – Wiley Online Library
Salt marsh plant zonation: the relative importance of competition and physical factors by SC Pennings, RM Callaway – Ecology, 1992 – Wiley Online Library
Characterization of a maize tonoplast aquaporin expressed in zones of cell division and elongation by F Chaumont, F Barrieu, EM Herman… – Plant …, 1998 – Am Soc Plant Biol
Photosynthate partitioning in basal zones of tall fescue leaf blades by G Allard, CJ Nelson – Plant Physiology, 1991 – Am Soc Plant Biol
Effects of root zone temperature on root initiation and elongation in red pine seedlings by CP Andersen, EI Sucoff… – Canadian Journal of …, 1986 – NRC Research Press