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Zone 8a Planting Calendar

Darrell Blackwelder: Seed catalogs for 2024

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 30, 2023

Early winter is generally when home gardeners receive a steady supply of seed catalogs. With the weather we’ve had lately, seed and plant catalogs tend to provide a welcome escape for us to ponder future plantings. It’s fun and challenging to try new vegetable varieties each season. All-American Selections are usually excellent choices for those who enjoy experimentation. Be cautious and don’t depend on the fantastic results often claimed by colorful seed catalogs. Many catalogs often feature varieties that are exaggerated with dubious results. Some seed companies have crop data from test gardens in climates unlike ours that will not produce the same quality or quantity.

Vegetable Planting Charts By Zone  Kellogg Garden Organics™
Vegetable Planting Charts By Zone Kellogg Garden Organics™

For many years, Rowan County and much of the Piedmont area fell within plant hardiness zone 7, however, the USDA Zone map recently changed the hardiness zone in our region to Zone 8a. You can go to https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/ and enter your zip code for more detailed information. This link updates the new hardiness zone for all areas in the U.S. It’s very important that you select seed and plant materials that can adapt to our new plant hardiness zone.

Most of vegetable varieties that you select should be reliable, proven, and above all, family favorites. Seed companies often have limited seed supplies on popular selections, so it is advisable to place seed orders early. Don’t forget to include flower seed along with the vegetable seed. Cut flowers are a welcome addition to the home during the growing season providing beautiful borders around unattractive vegetables.

Zone  Planting Schedule and Calendar: A Quick Guide - Ponics Life
Zone Planting Schedule and Calendar: A Quick Guide – Ponics Life

Darrell Blackwelder is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at [email protected].