U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Iowa
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 08-18-2012, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Indiana
2,588 posts, read 4,720,037 times
Reputation: 2146

Advertisements

I will be retiring in a few years and after living in south Florida for 39 years....I am ready for life in a state with 4 seasons and good soil. Yes, good, rich soil, where I can grow luscious tomatoes, wonderful flowers, perennials and such. What section of Iowa would be best for this? NE? SE? Middle? NW, SW? Any helpful comments would be greatly appreciated.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-18-2012, 05:33 PM
 
1,509 posts, read 2,057,952 times
Reputation: 2592
Quote:
Originally Posted by popcorn247 View Post
I will be retiring in a few years and after living in south Florida for 39 years....I am ready for life in a state with 4 seasons and good soil. Yes, good, rich soil, where I can grow luscious tomatoes, wonderful flowers, perennials and such. What section of Iowa would be best for this? NE? SE? Middle? NW, SW? Any helpful comments would be greatly appreciated.
Florida to Iowa would be a big change! (especially in winter). If you want a slower pace of life, you will find it here. As for gardening, I think you've come to the right place It seems everyone I know is growing tomatoes, veggies, and flowers. I am not much of a gardener myself so not sure what area would be the best, but have a feeling almost anywhere in Iowa will do. I've never spent much time in the SE part of the state (live in Cedar Rapids), so again can't give you much info there. I've lived here since 1994, coming from southern California and it's been a great place to raise my kids. I'm a few years from retirement too, looking for a warmer climate in a few years, but I don't think you can go wrong with Iowa if you can handle the winters. Excellent healthcare and good people, hardworking. Very clean.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2012, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Indiana
2,588 posts, read 4,720,037 times
Reputation: 2146
Quote:
Originally Posted by iagal View Post
Florida to Iowa would be a big change! (especially in winter). If you want a slower pace of life, you will find it here. As for gardening, I think you've come to the right place It seems everyone I know is growing tomatoes, veggies, and flowers. I am not much of a gardener myself so not sure what area would be the best, but have a feeling almost anywhere in Iowa will do. I've never spent much time in the SE part of the state (live in Cedar Rapids), so again can't give you much info there. I've lived here since 1994, coming from southern California and it's been a great place to raise my kids. I'm a few years from retirement too, looking for a warmer climate in a few years, but I don't think you can go wrong with Iowa if you can handle the winters. Excellent healthcare and good people, hardworking. Very clean.
Thanks for your comments. I grew up in Indiana and studied horticulture in college. I miss the friendliness of the Midwest and long to live within the United States and not in a 'third world country' like south Florida has become.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2012, 06:34 PM
 
9 posts, read 30,305 times
Reputation: 20
I would say almost anywhere south of I-80 would be good. Northern Iowa can get pretty darn cold in the winter. While it's farther north than the interstate, they say Grundy County has the best soil around, so that may be a consideration. Folks there seem friendly, and it's fairly close to the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area which gives you access to some great healthcare options.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2012, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Indiana
2,588 posts, read 4,720,037 times
Reputation: 2146
Thanks for the comments. I don't need to live out in the country....just a garden in a suburban area would be fine.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2012, 07:08 PM
 
4,829 posts, read 4,806,658 times
Reputation: 6172
If you plan to grow fruit trees, keep in mind ice storms (especially South of I-80), colder weather of Northern Iowa is preferable to ice breaking branches of your trees (significant ice storms are fairly common). Pay attention to native trees, sparse trees are generally smaller than East Cost trees, virtually all the trees south of I-80 show some signs of ice damage. 95% of Iowa is covered with just two crops, corn and soybeans. Few fields are irrigated. Soil scientists claim that Southern Iowa soils are inferior to Northern Iowa soils, which is actually good for a gardener. Poorer soils=Less Commercial Agriculture=Less Chemicals, Lower prices. If you plan to grow a tiny garden, soils shouldn't matter, you can easily amend any "native" soil to your liking. Besides, keep in mind that if a commercial farmer calls soil "good", it doesn't mean that soil is good for a gardener. Ideally, you should look for an abandoned for 10+ years field, tough find in Iowa.

Thanks for the comments. I don't need to live out in the country....just a garden in a suburban area would be fine.

then definitely Iowa soils should be the least of your concerns.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2012, 07:57 PM
 
Location: around the way
656 posts, read 901,079 times
Reputation: 422
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastIowa View Post
I would say almost anywhere south of I-80 would be good. Northern Iowa can get pretty darn cold in the winter. While it's farther north than the interstate, they say Grundy County has the best soil around, so that may be a consideration. Folks there seem friendly, and it's fairly close to the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area which gives you access to some great healthcare options.
I grew up in Grundy County and can confirm that this is true. My dad is getting on in years so he doesn't garden as extensively as he used to, but he still manages to send me care packages of home-grown veggies every summer, and they're almost always great. The drought kept things from being as good as they could be, but I suspect that's the case over most of the Midwest this year.
The only caveat is that it may take a little while to integrate yourself into the whatever community you end up in, since Grundy County is all smallish towns. It's not impossible, it just takes a while sometimes.
As far as gardening tips, the climate tends to be colder the further north you go (shocking, I know) and wetter the further east, but really the variations are fairly minor. You can grow pretty much the same things in Rock Rapids as you can in Keokuk, you just might have to adjust a little.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2012, 08:00 PM
 
46 posts, read 125,135 times
Reputation: 34
I've seen fabulous gardens grown in the south-central and north-western parts of the state. My garden is pathetic, but I don't have a green thumb in the slightest. I think I'd move where you feel the most comfortable; I'm sure a garden will grow just about anywhere.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2012, 10:10 PM
 
4,580 posts, read 5,810,017 times
Reputation: 5666
In the Quad City area my aunts grow just about everything you can think of. One of them has a pear tree, but I think she has problems with it.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-19-2012, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,543,028 times
Reputation: 1433
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastIowa View Post
I would say almost anywhere south of I-80 would be good. Northern Iowa can get pretty darn cold in the winter. While it's farther north than the interstate, they say Grundy County has the best soil around, so that may be a consideration. Folks there seem friendly, and it's fairly close to the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area which gives you access to some great healthcare options.
I wouldn't be so broad as to say ANYTHING south of I-80. Many of the southern tier of counties near Missouri have soil that is far less rich than central or northern Iowa areas.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Iowa
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top