The Q&A Archives: What Zone Am I In? And Some Tips Please On Very Limited Planting/garden Space.

Question: Hi,

I have a loft in Brooklyn and as you may already know "yards" or gardens or planting space of any type are very very limited in Brooklyn/Manhattan. I have a lovely long narrow space along side my building that is private and my space of relaxation when I want to be outdoors. There are long narrow planters along side filled with dirt and soil that are like very long flower beds. There are odd looking plants growing in them that look like they are there because the wind blew a seed there they are mostly little trees that grow at the base of one main tree. I would LOVE to plant flowers along these beds but have no clue as to what zone I am in and what seeds to purchase. I went to your online catalog and got very excited at your selection but did not feel comfortable making a purchase till I had some semblance of an idea as to what would be appropriate to plant. Since it is on the side of my building an there is a very tall fence the sunlight is limited, I see many people have beautiful flowers but they are exposed to direct sunlight all day. I would say that area gets about 5 hours of sunlight daily the rest being shaded and cool. Could you PLEASE help me so I can start buying and planting. Also it is Late August and we are going into Fall/Winter and should like to try to plant some things and or rotate with the seasons changing. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me. I have known Burpee since I was a child and of course when I went on line it was my first choice when searching. Cheers. I look forward to a reply.

Sergio Alain Barrios

Answer: You would be considered to be between zones 6 and 7 depending on the windiness of the location. I would expect it to be the warmer of the two. Your location could be considered a sunny one if the sun hits in the middle of the day or in the afternoon including the noon hour. If it hits only in the morning, your partial sun is a cooler type and could be called partial shade. For this reason I will suggest some fairly adaptable plants; with a little experimentation you will know what does best. The type of plants you can grow also depend on the amount of space for the roots and whether or not the planters are actually in or connected to the ground or above ground. Generally speaking, container grown plants need more attention to watering and fertility than those in the ground. You might want to take a look at a book or two about gardening, there are several in the "Dummy" series you might find helpful on general gardening, annuals, perennials, bulbs, and container gardening.

Here are some things to try. Easy annuals to plant next spring: bedding begonia, ageratum, viola, impatiens, coleus, caladium. Easy perennials to plant now or next spring: perennial geranium, columbine, creeping jenny, lamium, and hostas (available in many colors, shapes, sizes). Bulbs to plant this fall would include crocus, daffodil, and so on. Plant these in the sunniest location so they will start into growth early in the spring; wood hyacinths seem to do especially well in partial shade.

Enjoy your garden!

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