What Planting Zone Are You?

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If you know what hardiness zone you live in you can better comprehend the types of plants are best for your locale. This information will help you know when to purchase seeds and seedlings, when to plant, what grows best in your location as well as methodology of your specific growing conditions.

The USDA Zone Map covers both Canada and the US. The zones are separated into eleven different zones (although there are sub-zones). These zones are based on the average lowest winter temperature as well as the average temps.

hardiness map
hardiness map

I’m sure you’ve noticed the seed catalogs flooding your mailbox will indicate which zones those seeds and plants grow best in. So do the seed packets at the feed/lumber/box store. I live in zone 7 and sometimes get frustrated when the one plant I saw and loved on a vacation is best suited for a colder environment. Well, shoot, no wonder I don’t see it grown locally!

Sometimes I wished I lived further south so I could grow all those fruits suitable to zones 9 and 10, you know the tropical fruits!

These zones are assuming that you are planting into the ground. Planting in raised beds or a greenhouse will certainly change what you can grow. Raised beds and pots are more subject to freezing while greenhouse plantings can stay warmer longer, especially if your greenhouse has a heat source.

For those of you attempting to create a more sustainable lifestyle, especially if you’re planting perennial food sources such a fruit trees you’ll want to make certain that the money you layout for those fruit trees is well spent. Make certain that they’re suitable for your climate zone. Typically, most of the fruit and nut trees found in your own local area are ‘most likely’ suited to your area. It doesn’t hurt to check the zones for that particular variety of tree and ‘know your zone’.

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On a side note…. What’s for dinner?

We were out to eat with another couple a little while back and hubs asked what the other lady had ordered. She had chicken tortilla soup and hubs indicated he’d never had that. Well, shoot. I’d never made it because I didn’t think he’d like it. Was he just being nice? Well surprise surprise. That’s what I made for dinner last night. So good, that he wants leftovers tonight!

Print Recipe
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet heat 1/2 your olive oil. While the pan is heating slice your flour tortillas into strips. Fry until golden. Remove to a paper towel to dry and you may sprinkle salt at this point if you desire.
  2. In a soup pan or stock pot, heat the other half of the olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add in the garlic, spices and chicken broth. Add in the Rotel. Stir to combine then add in the black beans and the hominy. (You can substitute a can of corn.) Add in the precooked chopped chicken and let simmer.
  4. Ladle into bowls and top with the cooked tortilla strips.
    Chicken tortilla soup
Recipe Notes

You don't have to use precooked chicken. Just make sure that the soup cooks long enough to cook the chicken through.

AND not to be outdone…. I also made a white bread (in the bread maker – I am a busy lady ya know) with leftover Rice Krispies cereal? Hey, it works!

bread made with Rice Krispies
bread made with Rice Krispies

Print Recipe
Cereal Bread
Using up leftover breakfast cereal
rice krispie bread
Course Breads
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Course Breads
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
rice krispie bread
Instructions
  1. Made using a bread machine but you can bake it on your oven. Place all the ingredients into the pan of your bread machine and select the normal or white bread setting.