[NAFEX] Hardiness Terms?
deankreutzer at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 11 11:54:27 EST 2004
>I would prefer a specific temperature be given for hardiness, for although
>not absolute, it would be lot less vague. However, that is just wishful
>How does a large catalog grower, that has a very wide market (even
>national), use terms that have "local" connotations to indicate hardiness?.
I tend to shy away from saying a certain plant is hardy to a certain
temperature because hardiness is so much more complex than temperature
itself. Factors such as how heavy the crop was, did the plant harden off
well in the fall, how heavy was the disease pressure, was there a drought,
is there a microclimate etc. all can affect how well a plant survives the
winter. Just because a plant has had winter damage in -30F winters, doesn't
mean it can't survive -40F without damage. Nor just because a plant has
survived -40F without damage, doesn't guarantee that it won't be damaged in
-30F winters. This is why it typically takes many years of testing before
plants are released to the public, because fruit breeders cannot make claims
based on the results of 1 winter season.
I like to say "This plant has survived -40F without damage" rather than
"This plant is hardy to -40F".
I assume that a catalog that is distributed nationally wouldn't have "local"
terms of hardiness because that type of information would be irrelevant to
the majority of customers. I believe that using hardiness zones is
inprecise, yet the best method as a guide for hardiness we have. Like most
things, you must take it with a grain of salt.
USDA zone 3
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