Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Gardening >
May 30, 2009 09:03 AM

Any other Zone 1a gardeners out there?

Although we have terribly short summers it is amazing what we CAN grow here! Whilst fruits, nuts, etc. are extremely limited we are able to grow lovely annual (and a few perennial) herbs and veg. We are blessed with longer days.

We are soon moving to Europe (yes, mainly due to the climate!) so will be growing all sorts of things I have been dreaming about here for years. Until that time, I am happily watching my seeds sprout. We just had our last snow two weeks ago and leaves are finally coming on trees. WHEW! Finally. It is amazing the lengths we go to to extend our season!!

Anyone growing anything new and interesting this year? In addition to 20+ herb varieties (most annuals) I am trying asparagus peas again this year. Tried them last year but had hard frosts in August.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Fort Mac?

    I am in E'town. we are 3a'ers.

    I am pushing the limits and trying some perennial herbs (mint, thyme, sage, oregano). I am not holding my breath that they will overwinter, but it is worth a try.

    we plan to move at some point as well to warmer climates...but we are thinking central BC, I am amazed that they are not much hardier there though, you really have to hit the coast to get those high hardiness numbers.

    I would like to live in a 4 or 5.

    what perennial herbs do you have luck with up there?

    I am actually amazed at the variety of veg that we can grow here. of course they just don't last that long and you are eating like crazy all of August to ensure you don't waste anything, but its worth it!

    3 Replies
    1. re: cleopatra999

      You guessed it - close to Fort Mac! Not a lot -of difference between a 1a and 3 when it comes right down to it, though. I think a Zone 4 or 5 would be lovely - like Nebraska for example. Where we are moving to is Zone 8-9 so we will be able to grow pretty much anything! But it'll be a bit of a wait - we bought the house but have to, of course, abide by the residency laws.

      The only perennial herbs that grow here are mints, thyme and oregano. Didn't have luck with sage returning this year. Am growing:

      - pineapple mint
      - apple mint
      - spearmint
      - variegated sage
      - regular sage
      - lemon thyme
      - thyme
      - oregano
      - marjoram
      - rosemary
      - stevia
      - parsley
      - cilantro
      - tarragon
      - lettuce basil
      - spicy globe basil
      - sweet basil
      - purple basil
      - pesto basil (variegated)

      A couple more - just cannot think of them!!

      Lilies and daylilies do very well. Lilies are just starting to poke up. We haven't had any rain at all since last August so we are incredibly dry! This horrific daily wind sure is not helping. So windy it's nearly impossible to be outside whatsoever. Last year the wind blew off all our apple blossoms so we had no fruit.

      So, in our zones we not only get to contend with extreme long winters, we have the terrible unrelenting wind and drought! Ick. BUT we don't have all the pests that other climates do except our mosquitoes are giants!

      1. re: chefathome

        what specific varietals of mint, thyme and oregano have overwintered for you?

        do you prep them in any specific way? ie. cover b4 snow flies?

        this gives me hope for mine :)

        1. re: cleopatra999

          So far only regular mint, thyme and oregano have survived - not lemon or lavender thyme. They are all in sheltered locations. Oh, yes - of course my chives survive and my garlic chives do once in a while, too.

          My husband mulches my roses like crazy, to cover them totally. Many of my pansies even came back this year for the first time (heavily mulched along with the roses). My hydrangea and dwarf lilac are finally getting tiny leaves.

          It is supposed to freeze hard tonight so will have to get my husband to carry all my containers into the garage all over again. The things we do here!!