Climate = long-term weather patterns

determined by a combination of:
temperature, humidity, light, and topography

Climate data help determine: planting date, irrigation timing, harvest dates

Temperature vs latitude

Greenhouse effect:

CO2 reflects heat back as it radiates out from Earth

Temperature vs elevation (altitude):

Temperature effect of body of water:

Now extend this to CT:

East of mountain = dry? NO
Near body of water? YES
Snow dumps but winter mild

Zone Map of the USA:

CT at Zone 6-7...Missouri Connection

Plants are rated as to the lowest zone they can tolerate.

Zone 2 plant tolerates ROUGH winter. Zone 8 plant dies with any frost.
Should we in Zone 7 plant ONLY zone 7 plants? NO
Zone 8-10 plants = outdoors summer then indoors for winter
Zone 7 plants in sheltered location on property
Zone 2-6 plants in correct locations around property:

Where should my downspouts be located?

How does temperature influence photosynthesis etc?

These curves determine:

1. length of possible growing season
In CT: no rice, sugar cane, sweet potatoes (EXCEPT SPECIAL ONES)

2. storage of flowers and fruits (cool)

3. deterioration of foods (peas, corn, etc = eat soon for sweetness! sugar loss)

Cold winter needed for many fruit crops:

tree fruits, grapes, berries, perennial flowers

especially biennials: plant spring 1, grow summer 1, flower spring-summer 2, die fall 2

Cold damage for tropical plants

occurs at temps at or above freezing! 4C

DonŐt put bananas in refrigerator (YES DO!--skin black but fruit OK)

Dracena - even a few seconds in cold will kill houseplants!

Frost Damage

If ice crystals form inside (vacuole) they pierce cell boundaries = leak and death

Soil Heave:

as soil freezes it expands, contracts as it thaws

tears up roots Recall: wild rose/hybrid tea grafting

Lifts rocks from lower layers of topsoil to surface.

Weight of Ice and Snow Causes Damage


Late Frosts kill flowers & prevent fruiting


Clear night sky = C O L D!!
Cloudy = thermal blanket

Indoor Climate:

Container: Drainage for gas exchange--clay vs plastic

Soil: Texture for air/drainage/moisture

Fertilizer: Nutrients low, complete, frequent

Humidity: Need high but house typicallly low: use wet pebbles in tray crispy tips, esp lower leaves

Water: too much, too little, top watering vs bottom watering, DIRTY FINGERS

Light: if window poor use fluorescents for 16 hr/day



This page © Ross E. Koning 1994.



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Send comments and bug reports to Ross Koning at koningre∂gmail⋅com.