When you are looking to start a flower or vegetable garden, there are many things you should do first. What you buy depends on where in the country you live, as it is divided up into several regions, according to professional garden growers. When you peruse your catalogs it is important to get as much information as possible about the plants you plan to purchase. It is important to know what kind of climate each grows best in, as some will only thrive well in warm tropical weather, and if you live in the northern portions, they may not make it. You should go by the rainfall map, regional information, and any recommendations that the greenhouse has for the best growth. The United States Department of Agriculture created zones or regions that are identified by number to show how much cold they can handle. Most greenhouse companies have zones as low as three, for colder climates, and eleven, for the more tropical ones.
The country is divided up into five basic zones. One of them is the Intermountain West, which often includes drier soil, higher altitude, intense sunlight, low humidity, colder winters, and little rain. Another region is the coastal area of the West, for which you are able to purchase almost everything in most catalogs. Plants that grow best in this region often require high rainfall, well-drained soil, and warmer winters. A third region is the Desert Southwest, which includes those plants that prefer hot sunny climates, such as shrubs and trees that need to be firmly established in the soil before the intense heat of the summer months. The next region includes the hot and humid areas of the Deep South where palms, succulents, and non-woody plants thrive the best in the damp weather. Finally, the rest of the country falls in the last category, everything east of the Mississippi River, with the exception of the Deep South. Those grown in these regions prefer beds with well-drained soils, partial to full sun, protection from winter, and mulch to protect them from the cold.
If you live in a zone and prefer plants that are not part of yours, or you have vegetables, having a greenhouse in your back yard can help them thrive better until they can be planted outdoors. Some also thrive well indoors during the colder months, such as orchids and palms, that make the interior look great and the inside air cleaner and healthier. If you check and follow the zone map for hardiness in the catalog from which you are ordering, you should yield a crop of beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables during the spring and summer months. The right combinations make your property look amazing.