Plant Database forum: Should we include location based growing reports in the database?

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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!
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dave
May 6, 2014 7:39 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I like being new and innovative, and because of that I don't love to include features that are very similar to what we see elsewhere on the web. Having said that, I know that other databases including growing reports based on their location, i.e. "This plant has been reported to grow in the following cities:" and it seems like it's something we might really want to add at some point.

So, should we add that feature to our database here? It would be trivial for me to add it in, and I can think of some pretty fun features we could do once we get enough data inputted. We could even make maps with buttons that show where in the world each plant has been reported to grow well, etc. I can also, of course, easily ensure that the zipcode you enter matches the actual correct city.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
May 6, 2014 8:02 PM CST

Plants Admin

I like this idea (and I love your last sentence). Big Grin
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
May 6, 2014 8:51 PM CST

Plants Admin

I agree nodding
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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
May 7, 2014 5:28 AM CST
I like it. Just some of thoughts on the subject. First I think that it should be noted that reports should be made about plants growing in the ground. Most plants could grow anywhere if grown in a controlled environment like a greenhouse, so reports should be limited to what grows well outside. Second, I think you should consolidate reports for the same city. For example: Beaumont, has 14 zipcodes, so rather that having a report for each zip, it should state that there are 14 reports from Beaumont, Texas. Along the same line of thinking, is it necessary to have a report for each city? Would county level be sufficient? I would think that a plant growing in a particular county would grow anywhere within that county. tReducing the it to county would reduce the length of the list.
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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!
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dave
May 7, 2014 5:40 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Those are all do-able, Jay.

In fact, we can let people enter their location as zipcodes or however they want. I can then later write the software to group them however we want, whether by city or county (or even state and country.)
Name: Sandy
Mont Belvieu, TX 77580 (Zone 9b)
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ilovejesus99
May 7, 2014 9:04 AM CST
I would also like to see members add pictures of the seeds and seedlings. Would or could that be included in the plant database or should it be one of its own? I found a pkg of seeds that all I wrote was after a couple years gets 9 ft tall.....mmm can't rely on my memory any more.

I am thinking a database of its own as far as I know there is nothing like it. I was told about a book and I bought it and it was a waste of time and money.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
May 7, 2014 9:48 AM CST
dave said:I like being new and innovative, and because of that I don't love to include features that are very similar to what we see elsewhere on the web. Having said that, I know that other databases including growing reports based on their location, i.e. "This plant has been reported to grow in the following cities:" and it seems like it's something we might really want to add at some point.

So, should we add that feature to our database here? It would be trivial for me to add it in, and I can think of some pretty fun features we could do once we get enough data inputted. We could even make maps with buttons that show where in the world each plant has been reported to grow well, etc. I can also, of course, easily ensure that the zipcode you enter matches the actual correct city.


I would really love this feature! Thumbs up

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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
May 7, 2014 10:34 AM CST

Plants Admin

After seeing and using this feature elsewhere I began to wonder what is it's purpose. It's certainly nice knowing we have gardening and a certain plant in common with people around the world.
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
May 7, 2014 10:47 AM CST
I find it useful to know if others in my area have had success with a plant, and the closest city is probably more helpful than county. I live in a large county that has many microclimates - from salt water coast to river valleys to mountains - all with different growing conditions.

We do somewhat have this information in the form of "members who have this plant" if they are tracking their plants on ATP. I often will open that screen up to see where folks live (if they have provided that information) and occasionally to send a tree-mail to someone close to me with a specific question about a plant I am considering. To save time, could the database pull the zip code or city information when a member adds a plant to their list? And have an option for those who are not tracking plants or wish to remain anonymous to add a zip/city report.

On a similar note, it would be interesting to know where a particular plant originated from (country or region) which can also be useful to figure out how it might grow in your area. This would obviously be a different addition.
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Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
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coconut
May 7, 2014 10:52 AM CST
Yes, location is important. People think anything and everything will grow here in the Caribbean, but northern plants can't take the long hot nights. I wish "Hardiness" zones included southern ranges for plants.
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
May 7, 2014 11:12 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Bonehead said:We do somewhat have this information in the form of "members who have this plant" if they are tracking their plants on ATP.


I use this quite a bit, actually. In fact, while we were recording the podcast, I was looking at a shade plant and I checked to see who had it in their list. Many people in the south have it in their have list, so we concluded we should also give it a try.

But that's not as good as having a collection of: "I have grown this plant in the ground and it performed well for me."
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
May 13, 2014 5:51 PM CST
>> To save time, could the database pull the zip code or city information when a member adds a plant to their list?

That would be awesome! Would that be thousands of data point, or millions?

Maybe that should be more like a search feature than a static list. You would ask by State, county, city or ZIP code, and get a number expressing how many people there already said they "have" that plant.

As long as we're asking for the sun, the moon, the stars AND several nearby galaxies, I would ask if such a search could be done either by cultivar or by species. A rare cultivar might have only 1-2 members even trying to grow it, but knowing where the species thrives would give a good clue about one specific cultivar.

Of course, it breaks down when a member lives or grows in more than one location ... or "HAS" the plant in a greenhouse or indoors ... or jumps through hoops to keep it alive through the winter SOME years ...

Still, it would have a lot of value because the number of "zone pushing zealots" will usually be much smaller than the number of people who grow mostly plants that can live without huge papmpering.

>> But that's not as good as having a collection of: "I have grown this plant in the ground and it performed well for me."

True. Maybe the auto-populated list could be called "where people HAVE this plant" and the hand-entered list could be called "places where this plant THRIVED", or was recommended.

Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
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wcgypsy
May 13, 2014 5:54 PM CST
Like this a lot....please do....
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
Name: David Paul
(Zone 9b)
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DavidofDeLand
May 13, 2014 6:12 PM CST
dave said:I like being new and innovative, and because of that I don't love to include features that are very similar to what we see elsewhere on the web. Having said that, I know that other databases including growing reports based on their location, i.e. "This plant has been reported to grow in the following cities:" and it seems like it's something we might really want to add at some point.

So, should we add that feature to our database here? It would be trivial for me to add it in, and I can think of some pretty fun features we could do once we get enough data inputted. We could even make maps with buttons that show where in the world each plant has been reported to grow well, etc. I can also, of course, easily ensure that the zipcode you enter matches the actual correct city.


Genious, workable and and asset indeed Dave. I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up

Make it so! Smiling
Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
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wcgypsy
May 13, 2014 7:31 PM CST
Aww, Dave....just have fun with it...surprise us.
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
Name: Leslieray Hurlburt
Sacramento California (Zone 9b)
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HamiltonSquare
May 21, 2014 4:02 PM CST
Mousing over the thumbnails I noticed this location feature. Fantastic window of info. I love to know the range things will grow in and who's is having success with what locally. Thumbs up
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Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
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wcgypsy
May 21, 2014 4:17 PM CST
I think it helps a lot since my Sunset Zone 17 can vary a lot from other Sunset Zone 17's.
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
Name: David Paul
(Zone 9b)
Cat Lover Hibiscus Seed Starter Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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DavidofDeLand
May 21, 2014 4:18 PM CST
DavidofDeLand said:

Genious, workable and and asset indeed Dave. I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up

Make it so! Smiling

***************************************
latter thoughts in reread:

It already has been so if anyone cares to look. *Blush* How did I miss that?

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
May 21, 2014 6:12 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

We show the users' location here and there in the database, but I have not yet added full blown growing reports yet. It's definitely on the way, though. It shall be made so. Smiling
Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
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wcgypsy
May 21, 2014 7:02 PM CST
Thank you very much.....
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."

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