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I thought we could have a sort of chat thread for those of us in zones 3, 4 or 5.<br><br>
Hopefully someone in zone 6, 7 or 8 will start a thread for gardeners in those zones, and so forth...<br><br>
If you're in zone 3, 4 or 5, please post about your garden!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/coolshine.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="sunshine"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hat"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/flower.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="flower"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/carrot.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="carrot"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/broc1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Broccoli">:
 

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I am in Zone 5 Iowa. This is my second year in the house and soil is clay and I am working to improve organic matter. I am trying to incorporate some permaculture ideals as I plan things. I have started some seeds inside already (mostly broccoli and like, and some perennial herbs...just started some peppers). I am also adding a ton of fruit trees and bushes this year. I am going to try some sweet potatoes for the first time, but don't know how they will do in the clay.<br><br>
ali
 

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I'm in Vermont. We're in zone 4. Although with the new zoning map, we may have graduated to a zone 5...need to check on that.<br><br>
My garden is still under a few inches of ice and snow. We had an ice storm yesterday, following a pretty good snowstorm a few days ago. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cold.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cold">:<br><br>
I need to build a couple of coldframes. This was our third winter in our house, so there are a lot of things that still need doing. Like coldframes and asparagus beds, etc.<br><br>
My seed catalogue is on my table and I'm getting ready to place my order. This year I hope to be able to do more seed saving. I did a little last year (beans, peas, pumpkin, watermelon, etc.) but I want to try to do at least 50% this year.<br><br>
I'm going into the gardening season a little behind the game this year. Circumstances prevented me from putting the garden fully to bed last year, so there is some work out there to be done. My bean teepee is still standing out there with brown dried vines all over it....covered in ice. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
Great idea for a thread! I can't wait to commiserate with other coldhardy gardeners!
 

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I am zone 4 at 8500 ft in the Rocky Mountains. My first garden did super well last year, as I grew only short season, cold weather veggies: spinach, chard, sugar snap peas, etc... I dream of having a greenhouse so that I can enjoy tomatoes!!! I think this year I'll add potatoes and beans and maybe some more herbs. I was surprised at how well my soil turned out with just digging down deep into the ground and mixing in compost and peat moss. Except I did have a vole come and steal some basil plants and the majority of my carrots <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry">! I cheated last year and bought basil starts because there isn't enough sunlight in my house to start seeds indoors, and I have no desire to have artificial lighting.<br><br>
This Saturday I am going to a "Permaculture Garden Design and Planning" course, so I am sure I will be fully inspired and more on the track of ordering new seeds and mapping out where I will plant each thing!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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What garden? All I see is snow! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> Well, and the trellises with dead bean and pea vines on 'em that I didn't have the energy to take care of in the fall (yeah, first trimester and final harvest/garden clean up don't mix well).<br><br>
I still say I'm in zone 5, even if the stupid new maps say I'm 6. No way am I gonna let my precious little tomato plants die a much too early death in April because of people who haven't visited my area. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
I'm hoping to get some cold frames made for use this fall after hubby replaces windows in the kids' room and guest room, and hoping he can make me some solar domes in the next month or two. From the book Solar Gardening I think - basically a traffic-cone looking thing made out of lexan or something opaque <span style="font-size:xx-small;">(I forget, I'm gonna blame it on the baby)</span>, but the top has an open little hole so things don't literally cook. Totally a good thing with forgetful me.<br><br>
Besides that, all I've done is start some green onion, walla walla onion and leek seeds indoors, and the onions are sprouting better than I'd hoped. Some of the seeds were like 4yo. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> In the next week or so I'm gonna start in on the tomatoes and peppers. That'll be interesting. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I'm in Zone 5, northern IL, and we still have two-foot high snowdrifts in the yard. To keep myself away from the seed catalogs, I organized a seed swap a couple of weeks ago with other gardeners from our community garden. Talk about being a kid in a candy shop! Now I have to figure out how to grow all the flower seeds my kids took! But I did start my peppers and tomatoes this weekend. The hardest thing for me each year is keeping the cats from eating my seedlings. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: I'm also trying to start sweet potato slips from last year's potatoes, but they aren't doing much yet. Anybody experienced with this?<br><br>
We scored a couple of nice windows last fall free on Craigslist, so DH has been building me some cold frames. I don't know if I'll be able to use them this spring with the way our weather is going, but they'll be great for the fall.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lmonter</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10731399"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">From the book Solar Gardening I think</div>
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Ooh, another gardening book to read and my library has it on the shelf!
 

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I am trying to muster up the energy to really get planning...tough when there have been days lately when I am beginning to wonder if I will ever see my gardens again<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cold.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cold">:<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">...<br><br>
I will be back though, good thread<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Hi all,<br>
I am in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, zone 5. We still have three feet of snow but I am playing with a few things inside/windowsill gardening. For fun, I just started wheat grass in decorative containers. I've also been forcing bulbs, hyachinths and tulips (after chilling in the fridge since Christmas.) Has anyone ever grown ginger? I planted some root (rhizome?) and it grew up three inches, then tanked. I am excited to see all my outdoor bulbs come up as we planted a lot this fall, but we'll have to wait at least six more weeks<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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i'm in zone 4 in duluth. the rest of northern minnesota is zone 3, but the big lake gives us a slightly warmer spring/fall. (i'm totally jealous of your zone 5-ness on the south shore, redhot.)<br><br>
i'm attempting sfg. i haven't started anything yet, but i have my seeds. my next step is to round up some supplies to start babies, and figure out which ones i need to start when. i want to direct-sow as much as i can because i don't really have space indoors for seedlings. i'll be using the top of my fridge - just gotta figure out a light for up there!
 

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I am in zone 4 eastern upstate New York, near the Vermont border.<br>
We do a huge veggie garden, loads of flowers and pumpkins for a huge annual carving fest!<br><br>
The boys and I just got out the calendar yesterday to see when to start tomatoes, we have 2 more weeks, so we made a bunch of newspaper pots.<br><br>
We definitely have spring fever despite having much snow and ice on the ground.<br><br>
We harvested alot of seeds last year so we may be able to plant without buying any more, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I'm near Edmonton, Alberta, technically a zone 3, I think, but my backyard is a little warmer, thank goodness. Maybe a 5? We have a well-established white oak tree that isn't supposed to grow well here. Anyone else have a warmer microclimate than your neighbors?<br><br>
I have sfg beds that we put in last year. I think the containers make the soil a little warmer. THe snow is starting to melt off my herb garden box and I was excited to find today that under the icy snow, the parsley is green and alive (if soggy), the lavender leaves are mostly alive instead of crunchy dead, and the rue is starting to grow back already. And we had a couple weeks of minus forty weather in January! I was not expecting the perennials to have done so well!<br><br>
It is total insanity, but I have weeds growing in the bed next to my house (snow and ice in the rest of my yard still.) I am making a couple of cardboard and tinfoil cold frames and I'm going to try to sow some spinach and kale seeds this weekend, just to see what happens!
 

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I'm zone 5 too, although like Lanna the new charts claim we are now 6. I agree that it is warmer here in general, but on our windy hilltop the microclimate is still a 5 <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I cannot wait for all the snow to melt... even though I hate mud season.<br><br>
I cannot wait to start my seeds this weekend!!
 

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We're in zone 4, I believe. Our seeds came the other day and then I got some seed starting mix...but alas it is a bit to early here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I bought some flower seeds for the first time this year so I think I will start those soon and hold off on some of the vegies. We are still quite a ways away from the last frost date, however, the warm weather today was encouraging!!<br><br>
Enough snow has melted so I can now see a tiny corner of the garden peaking through!
 

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I wasn't sure this forum would be all that useful to me, and I was afraid I'd get depressed reading about southern zone folks and their green growing gardens.<br><br>
Still have at least a foot of snow outside, even after a very heavy melt last week, and we got another inch last night. Nighttime lows are well below freezing, and daytime is starting to be more often in the high 30s and even break 40 once in awhile so that is exciting - spring seems just around the corner (under all the ice, LOL).<br><br>
I ordered my seeds from FEDCO in mid-Feb and they were already sold out of two things I wanted. I was planning to start some seedlings in late Feb-early Mar but some local farmer friends convinced me to slow down a bit and said if you start them too early they'll get too leggy and it's better to wait. They said it doesn't matter how early you start them (within reason) - the late starters catch up fine. So I think I will start some things next week or the week after, tomatoes and eggplant and red peppers, also onions and leeks. Need to start sprouting parsley seeds; they take forever and I've never had success starting my own, but I'm going to try.<br><br>
People always say "plant peas on St. Patrick's Day" but I think they must live in a warmer zone than us. I cannot imagine we will even be able to see our yard by the 17th.<br><br>
This year I'm trying to extend the season a little bit, by planting peas in both sun and shade (hoping the shade ones will still be growing in Aug-Sept) and staggering plantings. I heard that if you put in a couple of new seeds at the base of the plant when you harvest a cabbage, you can get more of the same in the same space. Seems easy enough to remember. Anyone have success in storing cabbage over the winter? Is there an easy way to do it?<br><br>
I built two cold frames last year and scattered some lettuce and spinach seed in them (also there are chives, oregano, and kale in them). It's a little experiment to see if they grow early. It's all a big experiment.<br><br>
Question for everyone: Which perennial herbs do you find suitably cold-hardy? I have chives and thyme, but I'd like to expand my herb garden to be more full of perennials and I'm not sure which to choose.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>amyamanda</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10746290"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Question for everyone: Which perennial herbs do you find suitably cold-hardy? I have chives and thyme, but I'd like to expand my herb garden to be more full of perennials and I'm not sure which to choose.</div>
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Zone 4 here, and my yard is still under a ton of snow, too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> For perennial herbs, I've had good luck with chives and thyme like you, but also mint (that'll grow anywhere! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">), oregano, sage, parsley (it's a biennial, but it reseeds and comes back all over the place every year - I just move it to where I want it), bergamont (although I always forget it is an herb, and just treat it as a flower), plantain, sorrel (this one can be invasive, too), and lavendar (this one is touchy - some of mine have come back, some did not. the spot needs to be just right).<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>amyamanda</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10746290"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br><br>
Question for everyone: Which perennial herbs do you find suitably cold-hardy? I have chives and thyme, but I'd like to expand my herb garden to be more full of perennials and I'm not sure which to choose.</div>
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I agree with Owen'nZoe, but wanted to add - lemon verbena. It's great. I don't know if you've grown it before, but it makes lovely tea. Also, if you cut the leaves into little pieces and sprinkle them on top of a green salad it's a really nice touch. A little bit of lemon. Yum.
 

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Zone 5 in Maine, and my garden is under 3 feet of snow <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cold.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cold">: And, it's snowing today. I can't even get motivated to start me seedlings yet! But will be planning lots of fruit trees and expanding the garden.
 

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Hi Folks, I'm between zones 4 and 5 I think. We started some seedlings of calendula and basil in the house for fun last week but mostly we are planning what berry bushes to put in when the ground thaws and whether or not we should add another raised bed and expand our cold frames. We have a very tiny yard. Its hard to visualize right now though with all the snow!
 

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Zone 5 here - the ground is still covered with snow here, but I'm congratulating myself for thinking about starting seeds this early. Usually I think about them much too late. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Sometimes I question why I'm wanting to garden/grow food.<br><br>
This year, since we've moved and have a VERY shady yard, I'm going to be planting the garden at my parent's house. The extra bonus there is that my mom (the "Master Gardener" - she took a class) can help me! Maybe this year I'll be a better gardener! They have no shortage of sunshine there. I'm actually hoping that I can plant some kale at my house though - I do have some patches of afternoon sunshine in one part of the yard.<br><br>
Anyway...so looking forward to spring!
 

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pampered_mom, if you have filtered sun, I bet midsummer lettuce would work in your yard (when everyone else's lettuce is flopping over dead from the heat/humidity/sun). I have an area of my yard that gets a little morning sun but not much after that, and I can keep lettuce growing all summer if I keep reseeding it. I bet kale would do okay, and I'd even try peapods in a spot like that (but plant for a summer harvest, not a spring harvest, if there isn't much sun). Give it a try!
 
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