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Please welcome new members here and if you have not introduced yourself yet, take a minute to let people know a little bit about yourself.

Welcome Joshua_TX from San Antonio

Postby Joshua_TX » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:28 pm

Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:17 pm
Location: South Central Texas
Climate Zone: USDA zone 9a
Hola, I'm Josh and I live in San Antonio, TX. San Antonio is positioned in a climatic crossroads of sorts. To the west it gets progressively more and more arid, to the east progressively more rainy. Southwards has warmer winters but precipitation is lower (with the people at the southern tip able to grow mangoes and other tropical fruit unprotected). SA is seated just south of the southern end of the Edwards Plateau and moving north up into the hill county winter lows are substantially lower. The climate here I would describe as subhumid subtropical with average yearly precipitation of 30", but Texas is known for its droughts and extreme weather. Summers are long and hot, winters are variable, some very mild and some cold and grey. In the breaks between cold fronts it can get warm even in the dead of winter. Many places list us as zone 8b although there's no way this is true (the climate must have warmed) I would say IMO it's 9a with occasional 9b winters and maybe once, possibly twice a decade if we're unlucky we'll have an 8b which limits what we can grow here. Subtropical fruit seem pretty unexplored, occasionally you'll see citrus in someones yard but almost never anything else. There are avocados around but they are mostly heard about and seldom seen. Really seems like few individuals in TX outside of the Rio Grande Valley are trying subtropical fruit. So the information and experience of members in California and elsewhere is quite helpful. But San Antonio is in a good climate in that the winters are just warm enough to experiment with subtropicals and just cool enough to have good success with the temperate fruits without being limited to only the lowest chill varieties. If you grow both you have something to look forward to whether the winter swings cold or warm. It ain't California but it's good nonetheless.

As a small child I had a garden but then abandoned growing plants for many years. A few years ago I got back into it, first getting into medicinals and then just got into fruiting plants and trees within the last year or so. I am very much into permaculture and organic, but right now my interest is confined to the space of a suburban yard so pretty much everything is growing in pots. My hope is to get a few acres outside of town soon and basically go crazy. :mrgreen: Swales, food forest, etc. Hopefully can do some selection work with the neglected fruits.

Although I must say, I'm a bit puzzled by some Cloudforesters on the west coast listing themselves as zone 9b or even 10a and then being (in my assessment) timid about their winter lows and what can or can't handle them. If I had the benefit of regular 9b winters I'd have little restraint or conscious in experimentation, 10a and nothing short of calling out the national guard would stop me. :o :lol: :twisted:

Thanks for creating this forum, I am a long-time reader and have learned a lot through other people's experiences. Thanks!

Re: Welcome Joshua_TX from San Antonio

Postby Axel » Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:43 pm

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 3533
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:49 pm
Location: Hanalei Bay, HI & Fallbrook, CA
Climate Zone: 12b/H2 & 10b/S23
Welcome to the Cloudforest, Joshua. Sounds like a challenging climate you are in.

I am not sure I understand what you mean about the USDA zone ratings. California tends to be pretty mild along the coast, the coastal belt in the Los Angeles basin is actually USDA zone 11a, and becomes 10b as you head towards Ventura and Santa Barbara. It's not until you get North of about Santa Maria that it turns to USDA 10a, and it's that mild all the way to Monterey. Then it turns to 9b in Santa Cruz because the Santa Cruz mountains block the predominantly Northwesterly ocean influence, but is back to 10a on the SF Peninsula.

Most of the Central Valley is zone 9a or 9b depending on where you are, and that is probably the most comparable climate to Texas with the long hot Summers and the variable Winters. So you will have a lot in common with the folks there.
Tropical gardening in both Kaua'i windward Sunset H2/USDA 12b and Fallbrook Sunset 23/USDA 10b.

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