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Old 12-08-2008, 05:19 PM
 
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I live in Georgia. I cannot garden organically. Have to have pesticides. Also, still in a perennial drought. Neighbor drilled a 12,000 dollar well to water his garden. Between insects, diseases, drought, humidity (which takes the fun out of anything) I have to say, go west.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie1946 View Post
I live in Georgia. I cannot garden organically. Have to have pesticides. Also, still in a perennial drought. Neighbor drilled a 12,000 dollar well to water his garden. Between insects, diseases, drought, humidity (which takes the fun out of anything) I have to say, go west.
I suppose it is the same for Florida, and the rest of the deep south?

I've lived in the Rogue River valley, and the Texas Hill Country... Both were gardening paradises.

I now live in arctic conditions, but the soil is fantastic... You just have to wait until June for Jack Frost to FO... And other than flea beetles attacking radishes, turnips, cabbage, etc., we don't have many pests.

Well, the mosquitoes can be tiresome in the middle of July, but they only attack the gardener, not the garden.
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Whiteville Tennessee
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I will probably be able to grow greens most of the winter here in west Tennessee
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:07 AM
 
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I'm not certain this answers the original question, but there are methods of overcoming the vagaries of climate, growing season and location. Probably the definitive book on extended-season gardening is Eliot Coleman's Four-Season Harvest. As Coleman explains, most of the US has more winter sunshine than the south of France. By using techniques of covered gardening, that is, tunnels, greenhouses, and cold frames, it's possible to grow vegetables beyond the normal growing season and into the winter. Coleman does all this on his small acreage in Harborside, Maine, which is partly sited on land once owned by famed organic gardeners Helen and Scott Nearing. Coleman successfully grows and markets vegetables in a fairly harsh climate.

In his book, The Joy of Gardening, Dick Raymond details how by using various coverings he is able to plant vegetables earlier in the Spring and extend it into the fall in climate-challenged Vermont.

Another possibility for growing a small amount of fresh vegetables in winter is using hydroponic methods as in the Aerogarden. We have successfully grown salad greens and herbs in our Aerogarden. For those wanting a winter alternative to a summer garden, the Aerogarden is a good choice.
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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Yes, that's true. There are ways to overcome harsh climates, and still produce a off-season vegetables.

My harshest gardening zone is USDA 3A. Here, we already have to pull quite a few tricks if we want bell peppers, brandywine tomatoes, eggplant or other longer season varieties. Greenhouses with artificial lights to start plants indoors, black/red plastic to warm the ground, hot caps for when it dips into the lower 40's in June, wind barriers, homemade wall-o-waters, etc.

I despise tasteless commercial produce at the local grocery as much as anyone, but when it is -20F to -30F outside for a month or more, it is hard to justify all the work required to grow your own indoors. Near the Winter Solstice, we only get around 7 hours of useful sunlight. The 17 hours of darkness is just too long to keep anything from freezing without artificial heat.

Alfalfa sprouts, as well as radish, clover, mung bean, and others can bridge the gap through the dark days of winter.
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by FOAD View Post
Yes, that's true. There are ways to overcome harsh climates, and still produce a off-season vegetables.

My harshest gardening zone is USDA 3A. Here, we already have to pull quite a few tricks if we want bell peppers, brandywine tomatoes, eggplant or other longer season varieties. Greenhouses with artificial lights to start plants indoors, black/red plastic to warm the ground, hot caps for when it dips into the lower 40's in June, wind barriers, homemade wall-o-waters, etc.

I despise tasteless commercial produce at the local grocery as much as anyone, but when it is -20F to -30F outside for a month or more, it is hard to justify all the work required to grow your own indoors. Near the Winter Solstice, we only get around 7 hours of useful sunlight. The 17 hours of darkness is just too long to keep anything from freezing without artificial heat.

Alfalfa sprouts, as well as radish, clover, mung bean, and others can bridge the gap through the dark days of winter.
Foad,

I tend to agree with you on the difficulty and sometimes disappointing results in creating an artificial environment to produce vegetables. But to return to your original question of the best all-around gardening locations, if the price of land were no object, my first choice would be Northern California, where there is a mild climate and fertile soil. (BTW, we had the pleasure of visiting Luther Burbank's Gardens in Santa Rosa.) There are some coastal areas from Mendocino north that have an almost semi-tropical climate, although fog may be a problem in the far northern areas.

In the eastern US, I would probably look at Southern Virginia, especially in the southern Shenandoah Valley area. As I believe has been mentioned, southern New Jersey and much of Delaware are excellent vegetable gardening areas. Even a sheltered valley with volcanic soil in Alaska is said to produce spectacular vegetables. However, from my reading, I'm not sure there is any one area that meets all the criteria to be called a true "garden paradise."
John
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:45 PM
 
Location: a primitive state
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie1946 View Post
I live in Georgia. I cannot garden organically. Have to have pesticides. Also, still in a perennial drought. Neighbor drilled a 12,000 dollar well to water his garden. Between insects, diseases, drought, humidity (which takes the fun out of anything) I have to say, go west.
Maybe you can. Seems others do. Georgia Organics
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:30 AM
 
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I gardened in PA before moving to NM. Both are zone 6 but huge differences in gardening. Never learned the trick of growing tomatoes in NM but I was spoiled in PA--rarely had to water. I planted in PA and it just grew. When I moved to Olympia, WA I thought I'd have a place to grow food when I retire--I imagined it would be like PA. Wrong--no one told me it usually doesn't rain much in the summer and it still has the cold nights (lousy for tomatoes but great for sleeping!) I didn't have the place or time in WA so I planted a few herbs and left it at that after a few unsuccessful trys. Now that I'm back in NM I'm going to have my son put in irrigation and try different techniques for collecting water (and growing tomatoes.) Everyone says the soil is bad here but I'm not convinced--it needs organic matter added and water. Wish I hadn't sold my little truck.

I liked the winter break from gardening in PA but I had considered cold frames for salad greens but never got it set up. Every year after canning the produce I said "I'm not doing this again." Come January and getting those dang seed catalogs and I was dreaming again. It was just too easy to grow things in PA and I love seeing things grow. I look at winter as the season for forgetting the struggle and dreaming of all the things you could grow. Although zone 3 sounds like way too much time for the dreaming and planning and not enough growing time.
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:14 PM
 
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I've always heard that the Missouri Boot heel to Southeast Kansas was the best , bottom land with drainage, long growing season,and some mild winters, some people start to plant as early as feb.
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Old 01-08-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ellie View Post
Maybe you can. Seems others do. Georgia Organics
If I don't do it myself, then I don't trust organic. Not in the South. There may be some who dedicate every waking moment to an organic way of gardening, but that is too much time. Sadly, the south simply has huge insect populations and plant diseases that thrive in the humid weather.

As for using "natural" products in gardening, the fact remains that EVERYTHING whether natural or man made is a chemical compound. If you use an organic soap spray for insect control, that is still a chemical.

There are no easy answers to this business.
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