Gardening in Greater Hartford

Flowers Are On the WayThe snowless winter has made sledding nearly impossible this season. We got a few runs in after the Halloween storm, and a few more after a modest snowfall in January, but since then the sleds have been idle.

Instead we’ve been thinking about spring and the upcoming gardening season. And it seems like others are on the same page. Last week we learned about an updated plant hardiness map from the USDA. The map for Connecticut shows that the Greater Hartford area falls in either the 6a or 6b zone depending on the local conditions.

This version of the map is more detailed than the USDA has been able to put out in the past. They have made an effort to identify the mean lowest daily temperature for everywhere in the country, which is apparently the critical factor in whether plants will survive the winter. Their website shows static maps for entire states, and you can also enter your zip code and get the zone for your precise location.

We were out working on the yard this past weekend. Although we do have ambitious gardening plans for the spring, our recent activities were still related to cleaning up the ornamental tree that we lost in October. All that remains is the stump, which is turning out to be more troublesome than we had hoped. Anyway, once we get into planting mode it looks like we’ll be able to select flowers and shrubs for the 6b zone, which should give us a lot of nice options.