|When I lived in Iowa, it was always common knowledge which hardiness zone applied to our area, but now I live in SW Scotland and have NO IDEA which hardiness zone applies to me. I've looked about a bit and haven't found anything. I know it's milder than my old stomping ground in the winter but it is never hot enough in the summer to grow tomatoes or cukes. Sweetcorn is a gamble, some years we'll have enough heat, sometimes we won't. Have you any idea?|
|The USDA hardiness zones are simply based on the average minimum winter temperature. I have a map here that shows SW Scotland as zone 8, with a minimum winter temperature of 10 to 20F. As you can see, that designation isn't all that useful to you in determining what plants will do well--in the U.S., zone 8 includes much of eastern Texas, east to Georgia, and even includes parts of Arizona. Of course, you wouldn't have any problem ripening tomatoes in these areas! The zone designation will simply tell you what perennial plants should overwinter successfully.
Can you visit with some neighbors, and find out what varieties they grow? They would be the best people to give you some insight. One tomato variety you might try comes to mind--'San Francisco', available from Bountiful Gardens. Their e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org