Site Talk forum: Proposing new feature: "How does your garden grow?" Profile item

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 11, 2013 4:17 PM CST
This is just the beginning of a thought. Most of us list our USDA Hardiness Zone, but that actually says very little. It would be nice to be able to look at someone's profile and know more about their gardening situation. Or, reading some advice they give, be able to look up what kind of situation that advice was coming from.

How about a new feature within our public Profiles, like "How does your garden grow?"
or "Regional climate and other conditions"
or "My Gardening Situation".

It would probably include some things like these:

excessive summer heat (heat is a limiting condition)
cool summers are barely warm enough or long enough for tomatoes and peppers
frigid - winter low temp is a limiting condition: (USDA Hardiness)
can grow many crops or plants right through the winter
low (or high, or frequent) rainfall

first & last frost dates (50% and 90%)
length of frost-free growing season (days above freezing)
length of tomato growing season (days above 50 degrees)
degree days

high winds cause problems
flat / steep terrain
valley, mountain, plains, semi-desert, desert
urban, suburban, rural, forested, farm country

Soil:
- sandy soil
- heavy clay soil
- alkaline soil
- acid soil
- hardpan soil

At first I thought that could be done as a series of micro-badges, but I think it's better suited to a list of text phrases, like entries in the Plant Database.

Some of the stats can be looked up by ZIP code. If Dave can populate those automatically, great. Otherwise, maybe enough volunteers would come forward.to populate other people's stats.
- - USDA Zone
- - Sunset Zone
- - frost dates
- - length of growing season
- - rainfall
- - degree days
- - average winter low temp and avg. summer high temp.

Maybe some free-form text fields or "check all that apply" in categories like:
"I grow a lot of ,..." ... specific groups of plants or annuals / perennials / crops
"I would like to grow more of ..."
I grow in: field crops, rows, beds, raised beds, planters, pots, other (check all that apply)
I mostly start seeds indoors, direct sow, propagate cuttings, wintersow, buy plants (check all that apply)
hobby gardener, grow a lot of my own food, grow for market, farmer, sell seeds, sell plants
garden area: pots, baskets & planters on a deck, small beds, large beds, large yard, fields
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 11, 2013 4:43 PM CST
What an amazing tool this could be Rick. What a thinker you are.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jan 11, 2013 6:57 PM CST
"Daydreamer" is more like it, but thank you!

One thing I noticed at work is borne out here. As long as SOMEONE ELSE is going to do the actual work, I can think of plenty of things that would be "nice"!

I hope this would have some actual use and maqybe give new memebers a warm feeling, if it's not too muc h work to fill out. We all like talking about our own situation ... especially complaining about it!

And often someone will ask for advice, but it would take a loot of guessing and typing for them to stumble onto the relevant condition that was unusual to mnay, but taken for granted by them.

I learned that USDA Hardiness Zone meant NOTHING when I found some great threads about gardening in "Zone 8a". I'm Zone 8a. However, THEIR tomato plants were drying out and burning to a crisp under the hot summer sun before my air was warm enough to make it worthwhile transplanting seedlings outdoors!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 11, 2013 7:43 PM CST
Yes, areas of Texas (zone 8) have such a nice long growing season, they can do two crops.
In my zone 8 I'm lucky to get one crop of tomatoes ripe. Same with melons.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Jan 11, 2013 8:24 PM CST
I love the idea! Would like to add the length of daylight hours. If we choose the 21st of each month it would match up with the equinox(s)
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 11, 2013 9:05 PM CST
Like, "hours of daylight for each month"? I never thought about that statistic. But it makes sense!
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
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extranjera
Jan 11, 2013 9:44 PM CST
I think this would be helpful for those of us in tropical areas that aren't really covered by a zone that is dependent on how cold it gets. Cold is not a limiting factor but rainfall and heat and day length are good ones. I might add whether or not there is a pronounced wet and dry season that requires protection from rain at times and irrigation at others.

Oh, and avg humidity, that can make a big difference in whether something can thrive in heat or not. Was that already up there and I missed it? Not having a period of chilling means there are a lot of plants that you can't grow, maybe a check box for that?
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
[Last edited by extranjera - Jan 11, 2013 9:47 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #344424 (7)
Name: Arif Masud
Alpha Centauri (Zone 9a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Container Gardener Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers hot summers Multi-Region Gardener
KAMasud
Jan 12, 2013 11:19 AM CST
Suits and meets my needs. Our winters are frigid and summers Whistling anyway, even the Sahara, Rajastan and the Gobi deserts are frigid in winter but at the other end Whistling . In winters we get dry coughs due to lack of humidity while in the Monsoons have breathing difficulty due to 100% Shrug! .
Problem starts when I see someone growing some thing in my zone and I cannot grow it. Caused a bit of confusion until I came to the conclusion to start monitoring the weather conditions of others and right enough got the answer. These zones don't give the complete picture.
Evan, thank you I tip my hat to you. .
Regards,
Arif.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jan 13, 2013 3:39 PM CST
And it would be really nice if there were a profile search feature so we could look for people with problems/conditions similar to our own. Smiling While we're wishing, that is. Whistling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 13, 2013 3:42 PM CST
I agree
Name: Arif Masud
Alpha Centauri (Zone 9a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Container Gardener Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers hot summers Multi-Region Gardener
KAMasud
Jan 13, 2013 10:39 PM CST
Hurray! I agree
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 14, 2013 1:24 PM CST
Great ideas! Let's try to refine what we'd like, and propose some wordings. I'll try to make an inclusive list of proposed "climate" fields b y re-editing this post to reflect suggestions..
http://garden.org/thread/view_post/345542/

Let's add as many things as we can, instead of weeding things out. Dave can eliminate or combine features.

I think it breaks down into two different kinds of features, "regional climate" and "my habits". Here's a link to possible "Habits" fields:
http://garden.org/thread/view_post/344337/.



- length of daylight hours (on the 21st of each month)

- Tropical, no chill period
- avg humidity
- pronounced wet or dry seasons (list which seasons)
- sometimes requires protection from rain
- sometimes requires irrigation or hand watering

- humidity extremes

- - - - - profile search feature so we could look for people with problems/conditions similar to our own.

Climate Stats:
- - USDA Zone - average winter low temp
- - Sunset Zone
- - first & last frost dates (50% and 90%)
- - length of growing season
- - rainfall (per month, per season or per year)
- - degree days
- - avg. summer high temp.
- - Cloud cover days (per season or per month?)
- - Sun days
- - Rain days



Locale
- high winds cause problems
- flat / steep terrain
- valley, mountain, plains, semi-desert, desert, boggy
- urban, suburban, rural, forested, farm country

Soil:
- sandy soil
- heavy clay soil
- alkaline soil
- acid soil
- hardpan soil
- waterlogged soil / poor drainage
- Soil temperature (per season or per month or per week)
- Soil moisture
- I mostly grow in highly amended soil


Misc:
- length of tomato growing season (days above 50 degrees)


- Major Pests & diseases

[Last edited by RickCorey - Jan 18, 2013 4:32 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #345542 (12)
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jan 14, 2013 1:41 PM CST
Maybe we could add "soggy soil," unless I'm the only one with that particular problem. sigh.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 14, 2013 2:05 PM CST
Woofie, that would include our Willamette Valley area. Certain months of the rainy season water comes up around your feet when you walk on the lawn. And it's not raining that day. Plus we have to wait for the water table to go down in order to dig holes for planting.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jan 14, 2013 3:03 PM CST
valleylynn said:Woofie, that would include our Willamette Valley area. Certain months of the rainy season water comes up around your feet when you walk on the lawn. And it's not raining that day. Plus we have to wait for the water table to go down in order to dig holes for planting.


Here, too.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Jan 14, 2013 3:03 PM CST
So are you able to grow much in the way of perennials?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jan 14, 2013 4:02 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I haven't replied to this thread but I've certainly been following it closely.

Putting together a system (a web app, I guess) where people can post answers to a form and get back a sort of "Regional Profile" is something I've been keen to do for a VERY long time. Rick, your questionnaire is an excellent start and I'm starting to get excited about what can be done here.

I will definitely be doing this.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 14, 2013 5:49 PM CST
Hurray! He will be giving us more gifts. Thank you Dave. Hurray!

Woofie, I grow a lot of perennials. I just have to make sure I think things through for growing conditions. It is the winter wet that will kill many of them. But along my creek wall I have very good drainage, same with along the house foundation. That is where I plant things like salvia, that need very good drainage in the rainy season.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
Joannabanana
Jan 14, 2013 6:08 PM CST
How exciting! Hurray!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jan 14, 2013 8:50 PM CST
Great, Dave! I'll keep adding everyone's suggestions here.
http://garden.org/thread/view_post/345542/


I added
- waterlogged soil / poor drainage

[Last edited by RickCorey - Jan 14, 2013 8:51 PM (+)]
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