Help with our zone please.

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Keith Elliott, May 1, 2021.

  1. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    We are on the north side of the North Shuswap Lake at Anglemont. We have noticed that we are significantly "earlier" here than over at Blind Bay on the South side of the lake. Can we find out what our zone is please?Thank you very much.
     
  2. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

    Messages:
    1,991
    Likes Received:
    760
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    Hello -
    I am not very familiar w your part of Thompson Okanagan (we are south closer to border)

    I would suggest this place to start
    Canada's Plant Hardiness Site

    Then your purpose — is this for a farm or ornamental plants or ...

    Then you use your own local knowledge of details like sunlight and winds and water you have for irrigation etc

    Slopes make a huge difference (what we called frost sinks)

    And what are you planting in - raised beds or ground level or containers

    There is a lot of trial and not so successful (I won’t say error)!

    I am a big fan of Sunset proprietary zone system which is vague for BC but I think it’s reasonable to transpose to BC from places you likely know in Montana etc.
    A Guide to Western Climate Zones for Gardening - Sunset Magazine

    I think best armchair advice - if you’re new in town - is walk / cycle around and greet (at our safe distance) gardeners and ask ...

    Example - where I grew up - those old time ( way before google and this type of forum) farm & garden people knew a thing or too that still holds true

    Also observe what’s doing well on neighbor and similar properties
     
  3. DavidB52

    DavidB52 Active Member

    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Coquitlam, B.C. Zone 8a
    I did a quick check on the Natural Resources Canada page: Canada's Plant Hardiness Site
    It lists Anglemont as Zone 6A.

    However, like Georgia Strait indicated, microclimates can make a big difference within the same town, or even the same property.

    In my back yard, there is a creek running west to east and the ground slopes downward toward the creek on both sides.
    On the north side, the ground is a nice southward-facing slope that seems to warm up faster than the south side. Peas and other plants on the north side seem to be two weeks to a month ahead of the same plants on the south side. Is the soil different? Is the ground wetter? Does the south-facing slope make that much of a difference? I don't know. It's all a learning experience--but a fun one!

    Experiment.
    It will take you a few years to figure out the microclimate on the property.
    Enjoy.
     
  4. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Good morning, and many thanks indeed for your reply.

    So far I have managed to find two different numbers for our zone.

    When it is sunny here, which is almost all of the summer months, it does get very warm. You mention slopes - interesting - we are literally right on the side of the mountain which goes right down to the lake, and it's pretty steep. In fact, it is so steep that there are several properties here that cannot even get a building permit. That is mainly due to the requirements for your septic system, which becomes cost prohibitive the steeper the slope.

    But that aside, we have been here for coming up on 7 years, but the first 6 were dedicated to rebuilding the house.

    It was only last year that we were able to tackle the "garden", if that's what it could be called. The whole property had to be terraced in order to get any sort of level ground at all. This has now been finished and we have the top section, which is mostly a newly paved driveway with a small garden section to the south side. Then a retaining wall (rock) followed by a second driveway which gets us down to the lower two levels. The middle level is grass that we planted from seed last year. It is doing so-so. The lower level is quite narrow, maybe 30' at the widest and it is where we have built some raised beds this year. I also built a greenhouse late last year.

    The one bed is literally raised right off the ground and sits at waist height, so that both of us (very senior citizens) don't have to bend to get at it. The second raised bed is the more typical bed, about 28' long and about 4' wide. That is right at the very top of the rest of the property which has an extremely steep slope going down for perhaps 40' in a 100' length. It is extremely difficult to walk up this slope, so we have no plans to do anything with it, just growing wild with some young trees maybe up to 20' tall. Several years ago, when I was still somewhat physically capable, I did a major clearing of the lot to provide us with excellent lake views.

    We are going to plant mostly veggies in the beds, but the missus loves flowers, so she has a whole variety started in the greenhouse, just about all of which are doing very well.

    I should mention that we are inundated with deer here. They seem to have taken a liking to our place and have been using it as a diner for some time. The main family has 8 members, and we have even seen three little ones actually be born right here. But the devastation they did to all our bulbs this spring is terrible. I think we have a few hyacinths which survived, but only because we managed to get some netting around them before the deer wiped them out. We are in the process (literally today) putting up more netting to save our future veggies.
     
  5. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Good morning David: And thank you for your reply as well.

    As I mentioned to Georgia Strait above, we are very definitely on a very steep lot. It's actually three lots which we have combined into one. The two North side lots are side by side in an East-West direction. The third lot heads straight South from the western most lot. I think each lot is around .3 of an acre, so somewhat under 1 acre for the whole shebang.

    No creeks here, but a good water supply. Anglemont was the recipient of a new water system about 6 years ago, for which we are fortunate.

    The upper east side lot gets less sun in the winter months due to the tall trees on the lot immediately South of it. We would have bought it had we known it was up for sale a couple of years ago, but the neighbour on the East side of that lot got it before we even knew about it. He has no plans to cut any of the trees down, although as the Birch trees here all have a tendency to break off on a regular basis, he will need to do some removal from time to time. The evergreen trees of course are no problem, except that some of them are pushing 100' tall. So on our East lot, we just have built a workshop and done some terracing, but have basically no plans for much planting except for some Junipers.

    Perhaps I will investigate how to post a picture on here, which would explain instantly what we are doing.
     
  6. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,900
    Likes Received:
    2,304
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Attach photos and files
     
  7. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

    Messages:
    1,991
    Likes Received:
    760
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    Well that is quite the ambitious project!
    How do you manage a steep slope in the snow and ice of winter?

    That’s a long drive to go to the supermarket etc?

    And so close to famous Adams River famous salmon run - when is the next special red year? It is an amazing sight.

    ——-

    That would be marvellous to see photos ... to have context. Your view must be lovely.

    FIRESMART
    (Interface wildfire)
    I think it is important - right at the start of this project - as we all know in BC - to look up Firesmart and make sure you trim back and choose plants and hardscape accordingly - I bet your regional district (county) and local fire hall have info. (Ask your insurance company too)

    Here’s a place to start - link below

    Fire Smart | Salmon Arm, BC - Official Website
    ——-
    INVASIVES
    An important consideration you may wish to keep in mind out in the rural area (it is for us on our property in south Okanagan) is making sure we do not introduce invasive species - again there are websites to help with that detail. A key detail is we often think « oh, it’s wildflowers, so it’s ok » which is not true - example: the seed mix or plant mix might be ok in a different region but here might take off rampantly — here’s a place to start Invasive Species Council of British Columbia


    PHOTOS

    In addition to helpful info fr WCutler about posting photos - i found in my experience here it is really easy if you have an iPh or similar « smart » phone that you use to take pix then upload to this forum within your message

    Make sure you are connected to your data wireless internet at home — unless You have endless data on your phone plan (could get expensive if you are pay as you use $)

    Here is a sample of a photo I just took on my phone and it also shows the link you click (upload a file) (see below and click to enlarge)

    It is somewhat similar process on laptop (desk) computer - just a few steps required before upload (ie take photo then go in to your office and download fr your camera using the small card or a cord I suppose — then sign in to forum then upload jpg files etc). There are advantages to viewing photos on a decent laptop or iPad size of screen - I usually use my ph simply for convenience

    If you have a tech wiz in your family midst - yes, they can take pix for you and then you would have to share your password for this forum with that phone wizard if you want pix posted under your name in order to relate to the earlier conversation (continuity)
    ———-
    For fun I have also inserted a garden pic fr the coast today for your wife because she likes flowers — my favorite rhodo « Percy Wiseman » — and an Alpina type clematis growing in a native maple « Acer circinatum »
     

    Attached Files:

  8. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,900
    Likes Received:
    2,304
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
  9. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Hello Wendy, and thank you for all that information. However, you have overestimated my ability with a cellphone. I am so bad on the phone that I don't even have data. Just use it for calls and text messages, that's it. That will give you some idea of just what a neanderthal I really am. Fortunately, the missus is just the opposite. However, I am passably fair on my desktop, so that's where all my posts come from. I am going to have to go through all that info a few times until I make sure I have it somewhere near right.

    We have seen a few Rhodos up this way, but nothing like we used to see on the coast.

    I used to live on one of the Gulf Islands and we had several different Rhodos and quite a few Japanese maples. In fact, I used to grow the maples from seed and gave a whole lot of them away to some of the islanders. I also grew about 20 different kinds of bamboo, but I haven't seen hardly any of that up this way. I would think that it should grow here, maybe we just haven't noticed it yet.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
  10. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Hi again Wendy, sorry I forgot to make mention about the Firesmart. It so happens that we are well acquainted with our local fire chief, and his wife, and when we first arrived here he had a good chat with us about that very subject. When B.C. was on fire a few years ago, the closest fire to us was right behind the mountain where we live. Next closest was over at St. Ives, just 8 kms further along the road from here. I have some neat photos of the water bombers after they filled up on the lake when they flew directly over our house on the way back to the fire. It did get a bit nerve wracking, but of course they got it beat eventually.
     
  11. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Well, don't say I didn't warn you about my neanderthal tendencies. I kinda got you two good folks mixed up a bit.

    So, to try and answer your questions, once the snow has set in for the winter, we really don't have access - at least safely - to the lower portions of the property here. I think it was two, or maybe three years ago when we had 4 feet of snow on the ground at one time. Because we are on the local school bus route, our road is one of the first to get cleared. The opposite side of that coin is that the plow leaves a huge pile of snow at the top of the driveway, and there are times when it is quite impossible to get out.

    The closest supermarket(s) of any consequence are in Salmon Arm (80 kms each way) or Kamloops (112 kms each way). There is a small grocery store/post office/liquor store at Scotch Creek, but we usually don't shop there. That's only 22 kms each way.

    Where the Adams river viewing usually takes place, with the appropriate government park of course, is just the other side of Lee Creek from here. I think that's about 30 - 35 kms from here. Very popular spot when the salmon are running. And just to make sure everyone is aware, there is more than one kind of salmon that runs up that river. The local First Nations folks set up a fish counting station on Scotch Creek, which is pretty close to the Adams River. Sometimes we will stop there and chat with the guys who are doing the counting.

    As for the invasive species, we really don't have much chance of keeping them out of the property, given that we are surrounded by an awful lot of undeveloped lots here. The missus hates weeds with a passion that is to be envied, and before anything goes down, she has either that Scotts black cloth, or filter cloth that goes down.

    Well, I have to get back outside to help, as we are getting some of the veggies into the raised bed today. More to come later I am sure.
     
  12. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,900
    Likes Received:
    2,304
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I don't have data on my phone either. As an excuse, that one is really bad, unless it's not a smartphone. If it's a smartphone, you can connect to wifi and have no need for data.
    There is a forum called The Test Bed, where you can try stuff out and nobody will read it (or reply to it). (1) The Test Bed | UBC Botanical Garden Forums
    You can read the documentation again at Attach photos and files from Mobile Device and try it out on The Test Bed.
     
    Georgia Strait likes this.
  13. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    OK, thanks. I'm off to bed now so I will see if I can give it a go tomorrow sometime.
     
  14. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    I must say that I really got a kick out of your comment about that being a really bad excuse. Sounds like an English sense of humour.

    So I went to the test bed, and before I go any further, I am guessing that you are using Windoze. We have Macs here and I wouldn't have any idea how to use the Windoze O/S.

    However, all it seems that I needed to do on the Mac, was to drag and drop the photo(s) in question, click on thumbnail and that was it, Bob's your uncle.

    So, herewith, I'm going to see if I can repeat that early success.

    IMG_4259.JPG IMG_4055.JPG IMG_4150.jpg

    There's a few of the offending little culprits. I promise I won't bore you with any more deer photos, we must have 100's of them here.

    If this works when I hit Post Reply, you guys will have no idea what you are in for!
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  15. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,551
    Likes Received:
    1,364
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    Hello Keith - you obviously need help with more than your zone! Those deer! What does it matter what will grow or not if the deer are going to eat it anyway?

    What you need is a fence; doesn't have to be pretty but even a black plastic netting (BPN) barrier will allow you to garden in whatever portion of your garden you choose to protect. It can be done! Some of the BPN I have in my precipitous garden literally goes up an almost-vertical cliff. Keep in mind that, in really awkward spots, a fence should not need to be 8 feet or more in height because deer can't take a run at it. In some areas of my garden the fence is only 4 feet tall but in a very difficult position, the deer tiptoe past. I encourage you to look into fencing.

    See photo: For 2 bucks, I'd build a fence!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  16. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    I will see if I can show what the lay of the land is like here. As I mentioned before, we're on the side of a mountain and there's no such thing as a level lot anywhere here until you get right down to the water.

    It might take a few photos to get everything into perspective, so please bear with me.

    IMG_3977.JPG IMG_3981.JPG IMG_3990.JPG IMG_3996.JPG IMG_4342.JPG

    Looks like I will need to go to another post for the rest of it, but I'm sure you get the idea of just how steep this area is.

    First pic is taken from the west end of the property, and the road on the left side is Estate Drive. You can see the end of the new driveway, then the narrow garden, then the middle driveway on the right.

    Next one is just looking down the gravel driveway, which leads to the sheds on the middle level - not quite visible here - next one is taken from the lower end of that driveway.

    Fourth pic shows the lower lawn and rock retaining wall to keep the driveway in place.

    And lastly taken from the lower level towards the house. I will have to get a pic of the greenhouse next, which sits on the lower level. From there the property slopes down extremely steeply, such that it is basically impossible to either walk up or down on it.
     
  17. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,551
    Likes Received:
    1,364
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    As my father used to ask: Are you bragging or complaining? My acre is very similar to yours and I'm definitely not complaining. I chose this garden as you did yours because it is beautiful and challenging. (And I'm no spring chicken either.) After 15 years, there are still areas on this property I have (and will never) set foot. But, they're MINE and I love every square inch (or, 2.5cm).
     
    Georgia Strait likes this.
  18. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Hello Margot! Sorry I didn't see your post before I put that last one up. I'm still very much trying to get the hang of the website, but I'll get there eventually.

    As a matter of fact, we are working on just such a fence now. I got the posts in today on the part that we need to protect, and tomorrow we should be able to tie the netting to it. Oh, I see it's past midnight already, so it's today that netting will get tied up I hope. We were at a neighbour's place yesterday afternoon, just a short way from our place, and they have an electric fence of all things. The lady said the deer don't bother to get close any more. Hope you don't mind if I sneak a couple of pics in here of the greenhouse under construction.

    IMG_4547.jpg IMG_4172.JPG
     
  19. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,551
    Likes Received:
    1,364
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    Yeah, we looked into an electric fence too but it seemed that the ground needed to be moist for the circuit to be 'grounded'. It would have been a good solution if practical here. We noticed the remnants of the previous owners' efforts to confirm our suspicions that an electric fence would not be reliable.

    That's great that you have made such great strides installing a netting fence. It's true that, after a time, the deer forget their previous routes and are less likely to challenge your new barriers. You may need to fortify the bottom of the fence if rabbits are in the vicinity because they will inevitably create holes in the fence that deer could take advantage of. There's always something! Best of luck!
     
  20. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    I see you are a night owl as well...

    Actually, this place used to belong to Val's parents. None of the other siblings were interested in buying it because it was in such a deplorable condition. It took us nearly six years to totally rebuild the house and the last year or so has been devoted to trying to make something out of the garden. It is now getting to the point where we might just have something to enjoy later this year. I'll get some more photos up although due to the time constraints that we have been under, not to mention the travel restrictions with Covid, things have been plodding along somewhat slowly.

    Last year we decided to bite the bullet and get the driveway paved. Fortunately, there is a fellow just down the road in Magna Bay, barely a 5 minute drive from here, who does these things. When he looked at what was here, basically a weed infested bed of rocks, he told us that every weed down to at least 8" must go. Plus any rocks within a foot of the surface must go as well. We spent two full months working every day that it wasn't raining doing that little chore.

    IMG_4316.jpg IMG_4370.jpg IMG_4411.jpg

    This is the infamous 14,000 pound rock that became well known all over Anglemont. All we could do was to drill some 1 1/2" holes and fill them with expanding concrete. Then we were able to remove the top of that rock and just leave the lower two thirds in place.

    As soon as we had that done and the driveway somewhat smoothed out. the missus wanted some sort of spot to have a few flowers as soon as possible. So we put together this little raised bed and filled it with flowers right away.

    IMG_4502.jpg IMG_4509.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
    Acerholic likes this.
  21. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Rabbits are something that we don't have here. But we do have a gopher that visits us every year for the last few years. We just saw him for the first time yesterday, and Val has nicknamed him Gordie. He has found his home somewhere in the lower rock retaining wall and doesn't seem to cause any trouble that we are aware of.

    Couple of pics of the driveway getting done.

    IMG_4574.jpg IMG_3719.JPEG

    And the first of the turf going down. And the first mowing, which I left for too long.

    IMG_5096.jpg IMG_5010.jpg IMG_5154.jpg
     
  22. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    About seven years ago, when the CSRD (Regional District) was getting the new water system installed, they gave themselves a wide easement alongside both of our west side lots, as well as another easement across the bottom of our south lot. This means that we would be unable to build anything on top of that easement. Not really any problem at all, as that lot is far too steep to build on in any event. We were advised early on that should we be foolish enough to try such a stunt, that the engineers' survey would start at $5.000 and go up from there. This photo accurately depicts just how steep that slope is.

    IMG_4034.JPG
     
  23. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Something that we need to learn is when to plant the various veggie seeds. Given that this is the first year we have been in any position to try some gardening, we obviously have a lot to learn. We did garden in the past, but it has been a number of years...sorry, but that's the best excuse I can come up with.

    We have all manner of seedlings still in the greenhouse, some doing really well, others just well, y'know not so well. I think we didn't plant the tomato seeds early enough, as almost all the tomato plants we see elsewhere are way taller. Ours are still under two inches tall. Same with the beets, barely out of the ground. It's still very much a learning process here, although we aren't sure how long we will be able to keep this up. Val seems to be spending at least 8 hours a day doing garden stuff and there's still not enough time in a day to get everything done.

    We are in the process of hardening off some of the seedlings and others just had to be put in the ground for lack of room in the greenhouse.

    I did manage to get the spuds in the ground yesterday, so we'll see what they look like in 100 days. Incidentally, if anyone actually reads this, how much watering do potatoes need. They are in three of those boxes. I will be adding a second and third row to the boxes as time marches on. Aaaah, darn it, no pic of the spuds. I will attend to that toot sweet. (Yes, I know that's not how it's spelt!)

    IMG_4477.JPG IMG_4479.JPG IMG_4481.JPG IMG_4482.JPG IMG_4483.JPG
     
  24. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

    Messages:
    1,991
    Likes Received:
    760
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    Gosh those tiny Bambi future tulip garden marauders sure are cute!

    And if I lived nearby - I would ask if you need those last few Allan blocks (in deer photo)

    Your projects sound like lots of work - you and your household are an inspiration to get on with some half done wish list here.
     
    Keith Elliott likes this.
  25. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Contributor

    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    OK, fixed the lack of potato box photos. This is what we have so far. After watching a few YT videos on the subject, I conjured up these boxes given the materials that we have on hand. Basically a re-cycled fence. That, along with my preference to get things done quickly and simply. Not to mention inexpensively.

    We understand that we are to wait until the shoots are 3" or so out of the ground, and then we should fill the next box up, so we will try that and see how it pans out.

    One thing I did notice on some of the videos, is that if they had a tall box, they didn't seem to get very good results. The best one was a gal who got a massive crop in her raised bed and didn't pile the soil up too much. And I think she went heavy on the compost. Keeping the ground light seemed to make a big difference.

    IMG_4488.JPG IMG_4489.JPG
     

Share This Page