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Zone 4A goes to sleep

Living between two zones has taught me a lot about timing. I wait anxiously each spring for the first trees to swell their buds...and then open their leaves.

We currently live in zone 4B, in a suburban road/concrete surrounded microclimate, but our research farm is in zone 4A - with no tar roads or concrete. It consistently warms up slower and goes to sleep faster each year.

In some ways, this is really nice as I get to enjoy the burst of spring and the leaf coloring twice. But it also makes our planting/harvesting/providing for livestock more challenging. 4A has at least a few weeks less in the growing season, and it gets appreciably colder.

This effects which plants can/will survive. It also significantly impacts the honeybees. While our 4B urban area still had plenty of pollen caked goldenrod growing into October, I noticed our 4A goldenrod were empty in September and the phlox went dormant too.

Oh no! We planted 48 varieties of plants in our prairie (at least 2 phlox and 3 golden…

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