Growing zones in idaho

Stick with plants that can handle our cold winters | Idaho Statesman

Winters have been unusually cold since the USDA rezoned the Treasure Valley’s growing climate to a slightly warmer one. Katherine Jones [email protected]

A few years ago, USDA decided our area had warmed up, so re-assigned us from hardiness zone 6 to 7, indicating an expectation that our winters would not be colder than 0 degrees F. I think every winter since then, our temperatures have fallen below zero. Gardeners are far safer concluding we’re in hardiness zone 6, and buying perennials, trees and shrubs that are hardy to that zone, not 7.

If you’re going to plant a specific plant in a container that will remain outdoors, plan on only using one that’s hardy to zone 4, because the plant will not have the protection of a mass of surrounding soil.

Yes, there are such things as microclimates where temperatures are warmer, and cold winds don’t intrude, but for the most part, we have zone 6 winters. If you’re new to this area, the Sunset magazines and Sunset’s Garden Book are very good resources, BUT Sunset uses its own criteria for establishing zones, and wholesale nurseries don’t follow their lead. Sunset’s zone for this area is 3, and it bears no relationship at all to the USDA hardiness zones or the American Horticulture Society’s heat zones. In my experience, wholesale growers do not give AHS heat zone or Sunset zone designations on plant labels. Whether or not a plant can take our summer heat and bright sun is a consideration for gardeners.

Our average last date of frost is about May 9, but nights may continue to be chilly, so it’s a good idea to wait until about June 1 to put out tender plants such as chiles or tomatoes. A cold night or two (even above freezing) can disrupt diurnal rhythms for the rest of the season, resulting in smaller harvest than you should get.

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• • •

Human scientists have not been idle since they created new life forms that were combinations of animal and vegetable by genetic engineering. About all we can do is hope that originators of these new genetically altered organisms will allow independent, objective testing of their products so we can be assured of safe food in years to come. Monsanto’s reassurance devoid of independent objective testing was not entirely trustworthy, since that firm would benefit by sales of that technology.

Newer forms on the market include:

CRISPR: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats

Cell Fusion CMS: Cytoplasmic Male Sterility

I can’t explain these techniques, and I suspect only people who’ve been in agricultural college settings within the past five or 10 years could. The Bountiful Gardens catalog says the CRISPR technology is “gene editing” and a “cheap, easy and irreversible” genetic modification, and CMS technology produces plants that may make seeds without pollen, fitting the International Organic definition of Genetically Modified Organizations, but not the U.S. definition. The implication is that the CMS seeds could be sold as non GMO hybrids in the U.S.

By irreversible, they mean the changed characteristics are transmitted to progeny.

So we’ve got to be alert to these altered seeds if we want to avoid GMOs.

• • •

Most of us have seeds left over from other seasons, but we know that, after a time they are too old to germinate. Seeds not only contain the germ of a plant, but also the food for that plant until it can begin making its own food from photosynthesis (leaves and green stem). How can you tell whether your seeds are still viable?

Count out 10 seeds and put them on a paper towel or coffee filter dampened in tepid water, fold the towel or filter over the seeds, put them in a resealable plastic bag, seal it and put it in a warm place such as the top of your refrigerator. After a few days, open the bag and look for tiny white roots poking forth from each root. If, for example, there are five seeds with roots, you have 50% germination, and you should then plant double the number of seeds you’d plant if they were fresh.

Send garden questions to [email protected] or Gardening, The Statesman, P.O. Box 40, Boise, ID 83707.

What Is the Planting Zone for Idaho?

Just to the west of the Continental Divide in the northern Rocky Mountains, Idaho is a land of mountains and intermountain valleys and basins. The state endures a continental climate with short, comfortably warm summers but rough winters with cold temperatures and snow. Elevation affects temperatures: Generally the cities and counties of Idaho that are in the south’s lower elevations around the Snake River enjoy a slightly milder climate than the rest of the state. The planting zones in Idaho are relevant only for year-round plants, not for seasonal plants only cultivated in the summer growing season.

USDA Winter Hardiness Zones

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) winter hardiness zone creates areas that share common average winter minimum temperatures. In Idaho’s tremendous elevation variation, using the USDA zones can be difficult, misleading and frustrating, since winter minimum temperatures will vary with only a couple hundred feet in elevation or exposure to winds, etc. The USDA map for Idaho (see references link) is difficult to read, but overall encompasses zones 2 through 7. That correlates to winter low temperatures ranging from 0 to -45 degrees F. Use the USDA zone finder from the National Gardening Association to discover your zone based on your ZIP code.

Idaho’s Climate Zones

The “Sunset Western Garden Book” creates climate zones based on many more factors that simply temperatures (like the USDA). The Sunset climate zones take into account Idaho’s latitude, elevation, seasonal rainfall regimes, humidity, influence of ocean and continental air masses, and soil types. The majority of central Idaho is in climate zone 1A, among the coldest of climates and settings for gardening. In the southern areas around the broad Snake River Valley, and in the extreme northwest along the border with Washington, the climate zone is either 2A, 2B, 3A or 3B. The larger the number, the milder the climate, with A being harsher or colder than B. Here is a quick reference chart of city and Sunset climate zone designation:

AHS Heat Zones

Generally speaking, Idaho’s summers are not overly hot, but the elevation and latitude can affect how long or warm the summer can become. The American Horticultural Society (AHS) created 12 heat-zones that reveal how many days above 86 degrees F can be expected on average. The amount of heat can affect how well warm-season crops (like watermelons or tomatoes) will grow over summer, or whether or not cool-season plants (like mountain alpine wildflowers or lettuce, radish) are a good choice. Idaho generally has more summertime heat in the lower elevations and more to the southwestern parts of the state. The state includes AHS heat zones 8 through 2, meaning between 1 and 120 days above 86 degrees F can occur. The higher the elevation, or more northerly or easterly in the state you are, the fewer warm days each summer.

Idaho Cooperative Extension Services

Each county contains a branch office of the University of Idaho’s Extension Service, which helps disseminate gardening research information and recommendations to all parts of the state. Contact the horticulture agent or master gardener in your county to get answers quickly about specific climate, soils or planting zone data.

Effects of Microclimates

Microclimates are created when buildings, mountains, trees or other objects create “warmer” or “colder” areas in the regular garden setting. The USDA, Sunset and AHS zone designations are all modified by local features. For example, a low-lying valley collects cold air, while a hillside tends to remain frost-free longer. Or, a large pond or lake can effectively ward off a frost in autumn with added heat, but keep things colder in spring when the water is icy or colder than the air. Moreover, south-facing walls and foundations collect heat from the sun, and groves can shield cold winter winds. In summer, shade from trees and buildings can also keep a garden cooler than surrounding areas.

Idaho Opportunity Zones Forum

October 10, 2018 10 am – Noon

Boise, Idaho

Joe R. Williams Building (Hall of Mirrors), First Floor
700 State Street

You are invited to participate in this Idaho Opportunity Zone Forum to be held on October 10, 2018 in Boise. During this forum, you will learn about the Opportunity Zone Program and the Opportunity Zones located throughout the State of Idaho. You will also have the opportunity to learn about the investment process, share your views on Idaho’s designated Opportunity Zones and the type of investment you feel would benefit the community, and hear perspectives from local leaders.

Background
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017. The Opportunity Zone program was included in that act, which was designed to provide tax incentives to investors who fund businesses in underserved communities. Investors are able to defer paying taxes on capital gains that are invested in Qualified Opportunity Funds that in turn are invested in distressed communities designated as Opportunity Zones by each state.

Parking: There is on street metered parking next to the building. Three hour guest visitor parking is available at the Capitol Annex (Old Ada County Courthouse) at the corner of 5th and State. A number of on-street and paid parking lot spaces are available within a 2 block radius of the meeting location.

Event Contacts
Jerry Miller
Idaho Commerce
(208) 761-4052

Craig Nolte
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
(206) 296-2192

Depending on where you live in Idaho, fruits and vegetables often make fine additions to a home garden and landscape. Idaho’s topography and climate are incredibly diverse, from the high desert to lush temperate rain forests to alpine meadows. Success in gardening starts with choosing crops that are well adapted to your site and climate.

With exceptions, Idaho can be divided roughly into four climatic and topographic regions: northern, central, southeastern, and southwestern. Each area has unique soil and climate conditions that affect what plants will grow well there.

Northern through central Idaho is a mountainous, often heavily forested region. Along the western edge of the panhandle lie rolling hills of grasslands and extensive grain fields. Except for the low, warm Clearwater River drainage around Lewiston and Orofino, the growing season is short and relatively cool. At higher elevations and along the eastern side of the state, winter temperatures can fall to -30°F or colder. The frost free growing season is about 90 to 150 days in the valleys and 60 to 90 days in the mountains. Soils in the region are generally slightly to very acid and range from sandy to heavy clay soils. Silt loam soils are common and poor soil drainage is often a concern. For this region, cold hardy, early ripening fruit and cool-season vegetable varieties perform best. In and around Lewiston, the growing season is substantially longer and warmer, making the region suitable for many fruit varieties.

Southeastern Idaho includes high plains and desert to the west, leading to foothills and high mountains to the east. Winters are often cold, with temperatures of -30°F and below not uncommon. Despite high daytime summer temperatures, the overall growing season is short and relatively cool. Throughout most of the region, the frost-free growing season ranges from 30 days at the highest elevations to 150 days in the valleys and plains. Along the Snake River drainages from Idaho Falls west, the growing season can be 150 days or longer. Annual precipitation is 20 inches or less, except in the mountains, where 30 inches of precipitation is typical. Irrigation is required for crop production in most southeastern Idaho sites. Desert and lowland soils are often alkaline and iron chlorosis can be a problem with fruit and vegetable crops on some sites. Mountain soils are generally acidic. Soils range from sand to heavy clay, with light-textured soils predominating. As with northern and central Idaho, gardeners will enjoy their greatest success with cold hardy, early ripening fruit and cool season vegetable varieties.

Southwestern Idaho around Boise and Payette is ideal for growing many fruit and vegetable crops. The winter climate is relatively mild and the growing season long and warm, with frost-free periods of 120 to more than 150 days common. Moving eastward, the climate cools, but the Twin Falls area is still suitable for many fruit and vegetable crops. Portions of Owyhee County are cooler still, with a 60 to 90 day frost-free period. Soils in the southwestern Idaho are often alkaline and irrigation water can also be alkaline. Gardeners must be alert for symptoms of iron chlorosis.

To determine the exact climate zone where you live, use the Idaho map provided by Purdue University.

American Horticultural Society Plant Heat Zone Maps

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Maps

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture has an ever-important place in one of the state’s largest industry sectors. It recognizes Idaho’s economic well-being is forever tied to the health of its farming and ranching. It also recognizes new opportunities exist that will redefine the future of agriculture in Idaho. As agriculture changes, ensuring efficient and superior service delivery will be the department’s foremost priority. The pledge has been made to optimize the value of principles our farmers and ranchers have framed over the past century.

With 144 different crops grown in Idaho the variety, quality and availability of Idaho food and agricultural crops is abundant – meeting consumers’ needs both domestically and abroad.

Idaho is best known for its beef and potatoes. In fact, Idaho grows more potatoes than any other US growing region, annually producing about 12 billion pounds. Over 2 million head of cattle are raised on Idaho ranches and in feedlots producing high quality beef for restaurants and retailers throughout the country. Idaho ranks among the top US producers of several commodities as well as specialty crops.

Idaho leads the nation in production of trout, ranks second in barley and plums, and third in onions, sugarbeets and mint. Idaho is the fastest growing dairy state, and now ranks fifth in milk production and third in production of cheese. Rich volcanic soil, long warm summer days with cool nights combined with use of state-of-the-art technology allow Idaho farmers to produce sweet corn, cherries, peaches, apples, watermelon, asparagus, as well as peas, lentils and dry beans. Grains grown in Idaho are shipped worldwide, as well as milled into flour for pasta, bread and cereals. In addition to food crops, Idaho farmers excel in raising quality hay, nursery stock and many types of vegetable, grass and forage seeds.

Idaho agriculture continues to innovate and look for new opportunities to meet consumers’ demands. Research conducted by the University of Idaho has led to the development of a successful table grape industry and the cultivation of hybrid fruits such as the pluot – a cross between a plum and an apricot.

Also growing is Idaho’s grape and wine industry. The unique combination of geography, climate and soils produce grapes of exceptional character. Over 30 wineries handcraft their wines leading to award-winning Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots and Rieslings.

In five of the last six years, cash receipts from Idaho agriculture have reached record highs. The $4.5 billion generated from agriculture is the engine that drives many of Idaho’s rural economies. Idaho’s agriculture is strong and vibrant with a rich past and an equally exciting future.

Idaho Preferred® is a program to identify and promote food and agricultural products grown, raised, or processed in the Gem State. Administered by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, the program showcases the quality, diversity, and availability of Idaho food and agricultural products and is working to assist Idaho consumers in their efforts to find local products.

Download the 2018 Annual Membership Report

Download the 2018 Idaho Preferred Annual Meeting Presentation

Idaho Preferred® Program

Instituted in 2002 with funding from a USDA grant, the Idaho Preferred® program has been successful in raising consumer awareness of Idaho food and agriculture products. This increased awareness has been achieved through advertising, public relations, consumer events, retail and food-service promotions and farm to school education programs.

The nearly 300 Idaho Preferred® participants are local companies passionate about selling quality food and agricultural products. In order to use the blue and gold label, local growers, producers and food processors must meet strict criteria for their products. Fresh fruits and vegetables must be grown in Idaho, processed products must contain at least 20% locally grown ingredients, meats must be grown or processed in Idaho and wines must be made of 95% Idaho grown grapes. So look for the Idaho Preferred® label the next time you are at your local grocer, farmers market, restaurant or retail nursery to be assured that you are buying Idaho grown or processed products that support local farmers, ranchers and food producers.

Idaho is famous for its potatoes, but that is only one of over 185 different agricultural products produced in Idaho. Asparagus grows in the spring. Strawberries, Bing cherries, apricots, and raspberries ripen in the summer. Peaches, plums, pears and corn are available in the fall, and apples, onions, dry beans and local meats can be found just about year-round. And that’s not everything! Idaho processors also specialize in breads, dairy products, wine, nursery plants and specialty foods like jams, jellies, pickled vegetables and more. In addition to foods, look for Idaho-grown varieties next time you buy trees, shrubs or flowers for your yard and garden of wood products for your home improvement projects.

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Time in Boise, Idaho

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  • What time is it in Boise, Idaho right now?
    Boise, Ada County, ID is located in Mountain Time Zone.

Current local time in Boise, Ada County, Idaho, Mountain Time Zone – daylight saving time change dates 2020

Local Time in Boise, ID

1:57:26 PM, Saturday 01, February 2020 MST 24 hours

Boise time change

Next time change is in 1 month and 6 days, set your clock forward 1 hour.

Daylight saving Time Change Dates 2020

DST started on Sunday 08 March 2020, 02:00 local standard time (MST)
DST ends on Sunday 01 November 2020, 02:00 local daylight time (MDT)

Boise time zone

Mountain Time:
– MST – Mountain Standard Time
– MDT – Mountain Daylight Time when daylight saving time is being observed (from early March to early November)

Offset to GMT/UTC

Standard time zone:

UTC/GMT -7 hours
(Mountain Standard Time)

No daylight saving time at the moment

Boise – Geographical Location

Latitude:

43° 36′ 49″ North

Longitude:

116° 12′ 11″ West

Boise online map

View time at locations near Boise: Garden City, Barber, Eagle, Meridian, Owyhee

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Online Html clock provided by 24TimeZones.com is really nice and fancy website widget! This analog html clock is adjusted for Daylight Saving Time changes and always displays correct current local time for Boise, Idaho. You can adjust color and size of your Boise clock or choose clock for any city in the US here!

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208, 986

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Current local time in Boise, Ada County, Idaho, USA, Mountain Time Zone. Check official timezones, exact actual time and daylight savings time conversion dates in 2020 for Boise, ID, United States of America – fall time change 2020 – DST to Mountain Standard Time. Correct time: hora exacta, aktuelle zeit, hora certa, ora esatta, heure, reloj.

A Single Time Zone For All Of Idaho? Unanimously Approved Resolution Could Pave The Way

A resolution that got unanimous support in the Idaho Senate would put ten counties in the northern part of the state on Mountain Standard Time permanently. Credit Alex The Shutter / Flickr

The Idaho Senate passed a resolution that could pave the way for all of the Gem State being in a single time zone. While the southern part of the state is in the Mountain Time zone, the panhandle runs on Pacific. Lewiston, Coeur d’Alene and other North Idaho cities operate on the same time as Washington.

Listen Listening… / 0:56 Click ‘play’ to hear the audio version of this story.

Last year, the Evergreen State looked into staying on Daylight Saving Time year-round but has yet to act.

Under the resolution from Republican Senator Steve Vick of Dalton Gardens, North Idaho would stay on Mountain Standard Time year round. That would synchronize the state to a single clock for the winter months. The Spokesman Review reports Vick would like Idaho to make a change only if Washington makes the switch.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is the agency that makes time zone decisions. Vick’s resolution notifies both the department – and Washington – that Idaho is ready to take action. Vick hopes the resolution provides a nudge to Washington to reexamine the idea.

Clocks go forward this weekend for all of Idaho as Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday, March 11.

For more local news, follow the KBSX newsroom on Twitter @KBSX915

Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio

Planting Zones Moving North

  • Published: April 10th, 2019

By Climate Central

As winter’s last freeze comes and goes for more of the country, spring planting season is gaining momentum. Your area’s preferred flowers, shrubs, and trees depend on your climate — a plant that’s happy in North Carolina might be miserable in North Dakota, and vice versa. A warming climate is affecting the natural ranges of plants around the country.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has formalized these ranges into “hardiness zones” — strips of similar climate that run roughly east-to-west across the country (except in the high mountains and coasts). NOAA has created similar maps based on the annual lowest temperature climate normals for a 30-year period. Zone 3 (average annual lowest temperature of -40 to -30°F) only allows the hardiest of plants, such as garlic and asparagus. Zone 10 (30 to 40°F) allows for tomatillos and other heat-tolerant species. The map shows most regions in between, with occasional inconsistencies due to local microclimates.

As temperatures rise and habitats shift due to human-caused climate change, these planting zones are shifting north. Compared to a 1951-1980 baseline, the average coldest temperatures of 1989-2018 are more than 3°F warmer for the average city. Temperatures have increased for more than 95 percent of the 244 stations analyzed.

30-year average lowest annual temperature in your city

This shift is affecting farmers and gardeners alike. According to the Third National Climate Assessment, “many iconic species…may disappear from regions where they have been prevalent or become extinct, altering some regions so much that their mix of plant and animal life will become almost unrecognizable.” The National Wildlife Federation predicts that by 2080, the Mississippi Magnolia and the Ohio Buckeye will shift out of their current zones (and for the Buckeye, into Michigan’s rival turf). In one Forest Service study, 70 percent of the northern tree species analyzed have already shifted north — including cultural favorites like sugar maples and quaking aspen. Planters can adapt by shifting to plants that tolerate heat, drought, and downpours. But these seeds of change are yet another indicator of our warming world.

Find your USDA hardiness zone by zip code.

Methodology: For each individual point on the local graphic, we calculated the rolling 30-year average of the annual lowest minimum temperature using the Applied Climate Information System. We then calculated the average value of these individual averages to determine the long-term average from 1951 to 2018, as shown by the horizontal line in the graphic.

Posted in Impacts, Causes, Society, Food & Agriculture, Flora & Fauna, Projections, Carbon Storage, International

MOSCOW, Idaho — Researcher Lauren Parker predicts a time when the almond orchards of California could expand northward into Oregon and the fruit farms and specialty crops common in Western Idaho may also thrive in the state’s eastern region.

Based on the average of 20 predictive climate models, Parker, a University of Idaho doctoral student, has calculated how climate change might affect winter hardiness zones throughout the U.S. by the year 2050.

Parker emphasizes winter hardiness is but one factor in determining the agronomic viability of raising a crop in a given region, along with considerations such as market demand and water availability.

But when considering winter hardiness alone, her map of the U.S. a few decades into the future shows widespread potential for farmers to introduce new crops into their rotations without fear of winter kill.

However, the warmer zones will also benefit pests and weeds, she said.

“Across the country, these coldest temperatures are going to be warming in the future, and that results in an upward shift in the hardiness zones,” Parker said, adding that when she started the project she was surprised to learn that other researchers hadn’t already modeled hardiness zone changes.

Her paper, funded with USDA’s Regional Approaches to Climate Change grant, was published in a recent edition of the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Parker’s research focused on the potential expansion of the growing area of three crops — almonds, oranges and kiwis — predicting a much broader footprint in each case. She’s preparing a more in-depth look at the potential to raise almonds beyond California’s Central Valley, factoring in other production-related considerations.

Parker explained that zones range from 1 in cold regions to 13 in the hottest areas, with each zone’s coldest temperature 10 degrees apart. Zones are further subdivided into “A” or “B” areas, representing 5-degree differences.

Her model shows the inland Northwest would shift from 6A to 7A, and Twin Falls County, Idaho, should shift from 6B to 7B — more like current growing conditions in the Nampa area.

The greatest changes are predicted in the Upper Midwest, which could move up a zone and a half.

Cathy Wilson, the Idaho Wheat Commission’s research collaboration director, believes market opportunities play a greater role in crop choices, and drive breeding efforts that can also expand growing zones for crops. She said water availability will also limit crop choices.

“While we’ve been in a warmer cycle over the last 10 years, whether or not that will continue is based on models that may or may not actually happen,” Wilson said.

Parker’s adviser, UI climatology professor John Abatzoglou, has conducted research showing the coldest nights of winter have warmed 3 to 4 degrees during the past 45 years across the Northwest.

He said a student’s previous research finds climate change should also reduce the prevalence of false springs, which result in premature blossoms that are killed by frost, in most of the U.S.

In the case of wheat, which has been a primary focus of UI’s recent climate research, Abatzoglou said winter wheat should mature faster with warmer weather.

“There might be opportunities and risks (of climate change),” Abatzoglou said. “Thinking of novel crops might be one of those opportunities.”

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