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California Gardening: Ecoregions differ from USDA Hardiness Zones

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desert_witch
Lucerne Valley, CA
(Zone 8a)

April 8, 2012
5:27 PM

Post #9074638

I knew it! LOL. I am in zone 8b, officially. I have said for years that my "mircoclimate" differs a bit from 8b... sometimes a rather large bit. I found this wonderful website www.plantmaps.com. Plug in your zipcode and see if your "ecoregion" matches your hardiness zone. Mine turned out to be 7b which is right on the money.
OCCAROL
Santa Ana, CA
(Zone 10b)

April 8, 2012
5:57 PM

Post #9074669

Didn't work for me. I'm on the border of 10a and 10b, but the temps/ days of heat, etc. don't match either, and frost date?...only happens once every few years for me. I'll stick with Sunset climate zones. Maybe when they finish their "update" it will be closer. Here along the coast we have way too many micro climates because of the mountains and canyons.
desert_witch
Lucerne Valley, CA
(Zone 8a)

April 8, 2012
6:37 PM

Post #9074724

Awww... Santa Ana? My Father in Law used to have a lovely garden in Anaheim. I don't remember when he had his last frost, etc., though. I had a great garden in Pomona for many years. We often planted right in the ground as early as Feb! Here I have to wait until mid May...
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 8, 2012
6:46 PM

Post #9074742

Neither the Zip code nor Sunset works for me. I am about 5 to 7 degrees colder than the local official temperatures. The only way to know for sure is to set up some Min/Max thermometers and compare to the local posted temps.

Desert Witch, Can you imagine what Lucerne Valley looked like back in 1950 when i lived there? A good stream of water was still running out of the Artesian well there at the old Homestead. I forget the name of the old man that owned it for a long time.

Ernie
OCCAROL
Santa Ana, CA
(Zone 10b)

April 9, 2012
10:55 AM

Post #9075637

Ernie, I feel your pain. LOL! In the coastal hills, canyons, and valleys, all bets are off. Way too many micro climates.
desert_witch
Lucerne Valley, CA
(Zone 8a)

April 10, 2012
10:51 AM

Post #9077106

Ernie, until I just found this website, I relied on my grandmother's many years of recording the high and low temps on her calendar on a daily basis. I used to simply call my little place a "micro-climate" but I was referring to my 40 acres as opposed to the larger area on the plantmaps.com page. I was just tickled to discover that their data matched mine, and hoped it might help others.
We bought this place in '65, so I do indeed remember when Old woman Springs and Rabbit Springs still flowed. I believe Box Springs still does, but it's a lil way up the mountain. You may have heard of or know of our place, in fact. It was once known of as "the Big House" as it was the first full sized house in LV that WASN'T built on a spring/artesian well. In later years it was known as "the old Hellman place" after the folks who owned it for many years.
You might get a kick out of this. I was wandering the desert the other day (as I am wont to do) when I came upon this little artesian well waaaay out off of Lucerne Valley Cutoff!

Thumbnail by desert_witch   Thumbnail by desert_witch   Thumbnail by desert_witch
Click an image for an enlarged view.

ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 10, 2012
11:47 AM

Post #9077173

D W,

I remember Rabbit Spings was nice and green, if that is the one just a short distance from and in front of the old Valley View Ranch, on the first road left as you entered the Valley. Our place was next door to Valley View.

The Artesian well i was talking about was on the highway in the middle of what was then the town. It had the remnants of an Apple Orchard, and some old time houses and building. A chiropractor bought the place before i left in 1952, Ford Robinson i believe his name was, and he was fixing it up, so probably destroyed the old buildings. It had a four inch pipe that ran water about half full when Dad first moved to LV in 1945 or '46, but was slowing down pretty fast or stopped, when i left there in 1952.

We had about 12 to 18 inches of snow one winter about in '51 or '52.

desert_witch
Lucerne Valley, CA
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2012
11:07 AM

Post #9078573

Hehehe. We've had a couple of serious snows in the last 5 years. One actually stuck for over a week. We had 3' drifts and a solid foot on the ground. Last year it snowed on Mother's Day, and it's gotten frosty 3 times already since Spring officially hit. I'm chompin' at the bit to get my plants and seeds in the ground but I know better...
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2012
12:18 PM

Post #9078636

Way off topic but since I'm originally from SOCAL this question is driving me nuts. What's the name of the main Road that runs thru the Valley. Are you by Ritter Ranch?
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 11, 2012
12:56 PM

Post #9078672

It was Highway 18, i think, when i lived there, the Highway that went up the back way to Big Bear. Ritter Ranch rings a little bell, but cannot place it. Dad bought the Doyle Place, and that was next to the Valley View Ranch, and that is how we found our way around up there, using names of ranches, often that were still called by their original owner's name.

desert_witch
Lucerne Valley, CA
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2012
1:11 PM

Post #9078690

Yes, Highway 18, aka Happy Trails Highway. Somewhere arounf Bear Valley cutoff it turns to 18/247. When you hit LV 18 heads up the mountain to Big Bear, while Highway 247 (aka Old Woman Springs) continues East toward Yucca Valley, (as well as North...to Barstow as Barstow Rd). Most of those ranch names don't ring any of my bells, though.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2012
1:37 PM

Post #9078727

Ok forget the other names they are going a different direction. That's what I was trying to figure out. So are you near Pear Blossom?
desert_witch
Lucerne Valley, CA
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2012
2:52 PM

Post #9078826

No. Lucerne Valley is East of Apple Valley about 25 miles. At the bottom of the hill from Big Bear and on the back way to Landers, Yucca Valley, 29 Palms.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2012
6:31 PM

Post #9079039

I was thinking of Leona Valley. But I've been up to Big Bear through Lucerne Valley many times. Just didn't realize where one valley ended and the other began. Lol

I'll have to try the link above. I know how microclimates can change the planting schedule from other nearby areas.

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