It pays to read your email!
You simply type in your zip code, and the website takes you to a map of your area. It gives you a table of the average high and low temperature for each month of the year in your neighborhood. As if that weren’t enough, it also gives you the average precipitation for each month in your neighborhood. Now in a summer like this when you might get your average monthly precipitation in only a day or so, its nice to look back and remember what average looks like.
Another nice feature of this little website is an interactive plant distribution map. Lets say you’re thinking of planting a particular tree or shrub. You can find it on the alphabetical list, click on it, and instantly have a distribution map of where it commonly grows in North America.
Now I’ve spent less than 5 minutes on the PlantMaps site so far, and already know it is absolutely the most useful gardening website I’ve ever found. Friends in the UK, it covers your back garden as well! I’m happy to see the Canadian Provinces listed in the index, but haven’t found information for Mexico- yet.
I followed the link to this website to learn the average first frost date for my area in autumn. I know the last frost date off of the tip of my tongue- but have never committed to memory which week generally brings the first frost. It often seems like “endless summer” here right up until Yule. I often have roses to clip and tuck into evergreen wreathes when I make them in early December. Knowing your average first frost date allows you to do the gardening math and determine when to plant fall veggies.
This beautiful website should make it much simpler to make those tough gardening decisions. Volumes of information are accessible, easy to read, and interactive. No more squinting at tiny USDA maps in books and magazines! When you go to the site please make sure you also check out their blog pages. I found a drought map there, and a wealth of helpful articles.
August is the month for cleaning up, adding compost to the veggie beds or pots, and planting fresh vegetables for fall, winter, and early spring harvest. The air has a lovely fresh edge to it this morning. Change is underway out in the garden, and its time to get a fresh start. Time to plan, plant, and prepare to harvest spinach, kale, Swiss chard, radishes, and other tasty treats in the months ahead.
Garden Harvest Supply Co. is just an excellent source when you want plants not available at your local garden center. They carry a huge selection of varieties. Every order I’ve placed has arrived in premium condition, well packaged, and ready to grow. They offer very personal and friendly service. If you don’t have your seed envelopes lined up and ready to go, please take a look at their beautiful pages of vegetables and let yourself be inspired to plant for autumn harvest.