What Are Microclimates?

*By Cindy Dixon

When planning a garden, most people rely on the USDA/Sunset Plant Hardiness Zone maps or seed packets. These sources help growers determine which plants will grow in their geographic location. Hardiness zones indicate how well a plant will survive in a variety of growing conditions relative to heat, cold, and rainfall in the area.

Traditionally, we have grown edibles in areas that receive 6-8 hours of full sun, thus, limiting one’s growing options to a relatively small area in many landscapes. What about using your entire landscape to grow food instead? Take some time to observe your yard. Is there a place that never seems to get any sun? Is there an area that has great morning sun, then shaded in the afternoon? How about an area that gets lambasted by the western sun? These areas are known as microclimates: areas that differ from the climate of the surrounding area. Agriscaping can help with these multiple areas to increase your growing capacity; it’s called Microclimate Mapping.

To learn more about microclimate mapping, stay tuned for next weeks blog…

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