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zone 7 plants in zone 4???


Hi all,
I just looked for the hardiness info in Asiatica's newest catalog (before I 
was quoting from their Spring 99 catalog).  They say that "even some Zone 7 
perennials can be grown in Zone 4 in areas with consistent heavy snow cover.  
A heavy layer of loose conifer branches in December will also allow you to 
push hardiness."

Zone 7 plants in Zone 4???  Wow!  Before I go overboard buying all those 
plants I've only looked at wishfully up till now, has anyone had experience 
with growing plants from 2 or even 3 zones warmer than theirs??  Hmmm, how do 
we make sure the heavy snow comes?? 

For those without the consistent snow cover, I also read in The Unsung 
Season, Gardens and Gardeners in Winter, that Elliot Coleman uses a 
cold-frame inside a plastic-covered hoop house extend his growing season in 
Harborside, Maine.  Coleman says "One layer of protection, either the cold 
frame alone or the greenhouse by itself, moves you a zone and a half to the 
south, and the second layer moves you another zone and a half to the south.  
So you walk into the greenhouse, and you're in New Jersey.  You reach your 
hand into the cold frame, and you're in Georgia.  It's as simple as that."  

Coleman uses this method for his vegetables, so it might not be that helpful 
for our perennials.  But maybe in the fall we can pot up some of those 
beautiful wild gingers (Asarums) or Asian jack-in-the-pulpits (Arisaema) and 
all kinds of other beauties?

Cindy Johnson
White Bear Lake, MN
zone 4a
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