Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
These maps, representing various climatic conditions, take some of the guesswork out of choosing plants for your garden. If you know your zone, you can decide — with a glance at the zone information on a plant label — whether that plant will thrive in your climate.
This year, I’m planning to take a closer look at climate zones and maps and explore planting advice for each zone. Just for example, in January, while gardeners in Madison, Wisconsin, are shoveling snow and reading seed catalogs in cozy chairs by their fireplaces, gardeners in southern California are planting tomato seeds and down in Louisiana, they are picking camellias. No wonder it’s hard to compare gardening experiences with friends and family who live in different parts of the country. But it all adds up to a beautiful natural mosaic.
Three nationwide zone maps have been developed for gardeners:
— The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map draws its lines based on the average minimum winter temperatures across the country. The new map, issued in 2012, reflects data collected from nearly 8,000 weather stations over 30 years, from 1976 through 2005. Try the “interactive map” feature to find the details in your own zone, or download the Climate Wise Plant Hardiness Zone finder (99 cents), which includes quick climate information for the U.S. and Puerto Rico. If you live in the lower 48 states, plugging in your ZIP code also tells you the date of the first fall frost and last spring frost and the number of days in the growing season.
— The American Horticultural Society's Heat-Zone Map provides a guideline for how much heat plants can take; it divides the country into 12 heat zones, based on the number of days with temperatures over 86 degrees. Zone 1 has less than one such “heat” day in the average year, and Zone 12 has more than 210 heat days.
— By far the most ambitious gardening map is the sophisticated
Sunset Garden Climate Zone map, which divides the United States into 45 zones. The map contains information about the length of the growing season, the amount of rainfall and its seasonal distribution, winter lows, summer highs, and humidity. Sunset zones were originally developed for the magazine’s primary distribution area, in the southwest, west, and northwest, but the latest map covers the country from coast to coast.
Looking at your garden on zone maps is a great exercise, especially when the weather keeps you indoors. Studying gardening zones and comparing experiences from year to year will help you develop a sense for what you can and can’t grow in your area. It takes some of the guesswork out of gambles with tender plants and experiments with early and late planting. The difference between one zone and the next may be insignificant for some plants, but crucial for others. In many cases, you can push the zone limitations in your own garden by finding (or making) a place for a plant that would otherwise be unable to survive in your garden. Cool-climate gardeners around the world are old hands at this trick.
While you’re getting to know your zone, it is important to remember that even detailed zone maps necessarily embody very broad generalizations, and that zone systems are not foolproof. With a rain gauge, a thermometer, and a notebook to record minimum and maximum temperatures, you can keep track of temperature ranges and changes in your own garden from year to year, find the hot and cold spots, and make decisions accordingly. With good notes, you can make a microclimate zone map of your own back yard. Let’s give it a whirl.