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Using the University of Arkansas Extension Service Publications for Your Zone

First, I want to say one thing: The publications produced from the U of A Extension Service are invaluable. Seriously. I'm not just drinking the Kool-Aid because I'm a Master Gardener. I frequently refer to these sheets to learn to grow a better garden. 

What I want you to know is that you actually need to read the whole sheet. Even the fine print. Especially the fine print. 

Adjusting Dates for Your Zone


The planting date publications like the Year-Round Home Garden Planting Guide are developed for central Arkansas, not northwest Arkansas. We are usually a few weeks behind the folks further south. The forms aren't misleading. They state this information right on the page, "This planting guide was prepared for persons in central Arkansas zones B and C. Adjust planting dates earlier or later depending on your particular zone."

Now, if you're like me you like to skip all the writing and only pay attention to the charts, but in this situation, you're missing valuable information regarding planting dates. Planting too early in NWA based on the spring planting dates listed for central Arkansas could set you up for a failed crop. Planting fall crops too late based on that date may mean your crops won't mature before the first frost. Thankfully, the Extension Service offers this handy little chart on those publications to help you understand your zone:



Because we know these planting dates are made for zone C you can adjust the planting dates for your location. It will probably take some trial and error and, of course, there is the ever-present variable of the weather, so don't be hard on yourself if you get the dates wrong.

Sign up for My Newsletter


If using the University of Arkansas Extension Service publications for your zone is a little confusing, I can make things more simple for you. On the upper right side of this page is a box that says "subscribe to our monthly gardening newsletter." I send a newsletter at the beginning of each month with a list of crops that can be planted in Northwest Arkansas



Arkansas is a large state with a wide variety of soil conditions and climates. I am thankful to the UofA for offering a number of free publications for gardeners and farmers in the state. Click here for a full list of publications, including fact sheets and growing guides for specific crops, for the state of Arkansas thanks to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

 

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