One of the most interesting and beneficial programs at the Mailorder Gardening Association conference earlier this month consisted of a consumer panel who shopped members’ catalogs and websites in front of a live audience, then evaluated their experience with each company.
One of the panelists was a new gardener, who had many questions about what he could grow successfully. He spoke with a very helpful rep, but I wondered if he might be confused when the rep kept referring to growing zones.
Moderator Kip Creel of StandPoint addressed this question, saying that they recommend that garden companies refer to minimum temperatures instead of growing zones when speaking with new gardeners. Most people have a fairly good idea of the average low temperature for their area, even if they’ve never heard of a growing zone.
Every industry and hobby has its own lingo that’s unfamiliar to the uninitiated, and gardening is no different.