Our Hardiness Zone In Moultonborough, NH

USDA Hardiness Zones

The record warm temperatures that we are currently having in Moultonborough and the Lakes Region in general, may have you thinking about your garden instead of more traditional winter activities that should be happening now. Have you spent some time browsing through plant catalogs or garden design websites? Well, before you type in your credit card number and hit the “purchase” button on your keyboard hoping that the gorgeous blooms in those pictures will pop up in your garden this year, be sure you have read all of the fine print associated with the plant of your dreams. Most important of all of the information is the hardiness zone for each plant. What is our “zone” here in Moultonborough, NH and why does it matter when it comes to your garden?

The US Department of Agriculture produces a map for gardeners based on the average of low temperature readings taken from weather stations throughout the United States. The idea is to give the garden industry a way to communicate the cold hardiness of landscape plants. On the tags found on most plants, trees and shrubs, you will often see “hardy to zone ___”.

This is a great clue as to whether or not the plant is likely to survive in our area. In Moultonborough and most of the Lakes Region of New Hampshire we are somewhere between a zone 4 and 5. Your zone will have the USDA number and either an ‘a’ or a ‘b’ attached, with ‘a’ meaning that you are on the colder end of the zone and ‘b’ indicating that you are in slightly milder territory. The more protected and sunny a spot is, the more likely it is that a zone 5 plant will survive. And conversely, in a more exposed area it would be a safer bet to stick to zone 4 materials.

Winter is always slow to let go here in the Northeast. It may even still be snowing in April in some corners of the Lakes Region, but a good start to the gardening season involves getting your flowers early and acclimating them to spring’s uncertain temperatures so they are ready to explode into color as soon as possible. The last frost date varies from April 15 to May 15, but the number of nights below freezing will become fewer and fewer as April proceeds. Gardeners are often notorious for “pushing the zone” and trying a plant that isn’t necessarily hardy for their zone. Sometimes you get lucky and find the perfect spot where an unlikely plant just thrives! When our green thumbs start to itch early in the season we often start with container plants so that if Mother Nature sends a late season frost, we can easily move our plantings under cover. If you just can’t control yourself and dare to put them in the ground, just be aware that you may need to cover them if very cold temperatures are predicted.

Here is a list of some of the annuals we often start with that will generally tolerate spring’s cold and still flower all summer!

 Plant List

  1. Supertunia® Picasso in Pink® Petunia
  2. Superbena® Sparkling Ruby Verbena
  3. Superbells® Frostfire Calibrachoa
  4. Snow Princess® Lobularia
  5. Butterfly and Vanilla Butterfly® Argyranthemum
  6. Surefire® Red & Rose Begonia
  7. Diamond Frost® Euphorbia
  8. Señorita Blanca® Cleome
  9. Flirtation® Pink Diascia
  10. Illusion® series Ipomoea

http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/InteractiveMap.aspx

 

 

Miss Kim Lilac – Great for Hedges

lilac-new-hampshireThe Miss Kim Lilac is a deciduous shrub with a beautiful light purple flower. It is a bit smaller than the common lilac (syringa vulgaris), but grows to be 4-9 feet tall and 5-7 feet wide. It loves full sun and requires low maintenance and medium water.

Drop one or two into an existing landscape or create a lush and lovely hedge. The bloom is heavily scented and the leaves take on a burgundy tint in the fall. A real late spring superstar!

Contact Miracle Farms Landscaping today for more information on the Miss Kim Lilac.

Geranium Rozanne – Violet-Blue – Great in New Hampshire

geranium-rozanneGeranium Rozanne: Not to be confused with the annual Pelargonium geraniums seen in containers everywhere, the blooms of this perennial are a beautiful violet-blue with a white center. Cranesbill, as it is more commonly known, provides a long-blooming, prolific blue flower that works well in borders, rock or cottage gardens, patio planters, and containers and do best when grown in mass. They are a full sun/partial shade plant and prefer a fertile moist soil, and will grow to be around a foot and a half tall and 2 feet wide. It is a very low maintenance plant and requires a medium amount of watering. Flowers will continue through the heat of mid-summer. Call and make an appointment today to have some of these blue beauties added to your garden for a summer filled with endless color.

Coneflowers are Hardy, Showy, and Easy to Grow in NH

coneflowers - moultonborough nhShhh…. It’s a secret!

It’s actually no secret at all that some of the best selling perennials on the market today are coneflowers. They are hardy and showy and easy to grow. What might just be new to you though, is the Echinacea ‘secret series’: Secret Affair, Secret Glow and Secret Love. These varieties all produce large double blooms on strong plants with a sturdy, medium habit. The flowers have a rich color that can last until the frost. Secret Affair is a mauve-rose, Secret Glow is a bright school bus yellow, and Secret Love is a pure, strong red. The blooms stand out in a garden averaging 35 large flowers per plant.
They are hardy in zones 4-10 and grow about 2 feet tall in full sun.
This is a secret you will want to share!

When to Plant Gardens in New Hampshire?

Spring Soil TemperatureIf you want to know when to sow, take off your trousers and sit on the ground!

If you are anything like me you are probably anxiously watching the ever-incorrect weather reports to determine if it is safe to start planting yet. There are lots of guidelines people seem to go by to declare open season in the garden. Some are a bit more reliable than others, but my favorite is based on the wives tale above. Back in the day, before there were reliable means to measure the temperature of the soil, feeling the bare soil with tender flesh was a great way to find out if it was warm enough. I suppose seeing the gardener in this precarious position in your parsley patch didn’t go over very well so a more politically correct version of the soil test was developed – stick your elbow in the soil instead.

The best thing to do, as hard as it is, is wait until the last chance of frost has passed, unless you have the ability to cover tender plants overnight.