Author Topic: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure  (Read 781 times)

S.Simonsen

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Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« on: 2020-06-07, 01:41:57 AM »
Hi Everyone

Joseph Lofthouse is interested in the idea of creating a subforum here organised around the Koppen climate zone system. Before getting too far ahead I would like to bounce ideas around about what the goals and structure could be.

From my own perspective the goals would be:

1. Collate a list of species that people have successfully grown in each zone (plus maybe also a list of those that failed). This could maybe be summarised in a pinned post for each zone's subforum in a table (so it isn't just a simple yes/no on each species, but rather a simple tally of people having positive and negative experiences). I would be happy to do the leg work keeping this up to date if it can't be automated easily.
The goal of this kind of localised species database would be to provide information to people considering trialing a specific crop so they have an idea of their chances, plus it would be an interesting list to browse to find new crops you hadn't considered growing before.

2. Connect growers in comparable zones around the world in the rest of the sub-forum to facilitate swapping material.

Do people think this would be a worthwhile goal? Any other ideas or suggestions on how to approach the idea?

William S.

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Re: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« Reply #1 on: 2020-06-07, 08:12:22 AM »
I vaguely remember reading about Koppen climate classification. I vaguely remember being in a continental climate. Though I know we are slightly Mediterranean influenced (dry-ish summers). Which is why we have few native C4 metabolism grasses on this side of the continental divide here in Montana USA. Looks like their are easily googled maps of varying resolution. When I pull up MT and UT here in the USA it looks like Joseph Lofthouse and I could easily be in the same type. Probably DSC (Hot Summer Mediterranean Continental) in the more complex map or DFA in the simpler (Warm Continental Climate / Humid Continental Climate). Wikipedia says DFB for my town and DFA / DFB for Logan UT a large town near Joseph DFB is (Temperate Continental Climate / Humid Continental Climate). We are both in the sagebrush steppe ecosystem (share a lot of plant species). We both are on glacial lake sediments. Crops that Joseph has developed do very well here. How well this is as a predictor is uncertain to me, but it seems like it is consistent with other evidences towards us having a lot of similarities. To participate in a sub-forum geared towards this it would be helpful for us to figure out and list our Koppen zones.

I'm not sure how interested I am or not. I already know that the U.S. states most like mine are Montana, North Dakota, Idaho, Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon, Utah, Nevada, and Colorado. My plant collection is already overflowing...
« Last Edit: 2020-06-07, 09:29:39 AM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

S.Simonsen

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Re: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« Reply #2 on: 2020-06-07, 03:39:31 PM »
I guess I am mostly looking for a sense of how interested experienced growers would be about taking the time to contribute information on which species have done well/not so well in their particular climate zone. If I could put together a fairly survey simple table to fill out would you be willing to take the time to complete it?

William S.

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Re: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« Reply #3 on: 2020-06-07, 08:48:22 PM »
Sure,

So far rice seems iffy
Devils claw is a little iffy
Tobacco seems to need a long season
Watermelons can be a struggle but I usually get a few
Solanum chilense is a struggle

Rodents eat my spinach seed and sometimes my radish seed.
 I haven't yet figured out how to grow seed for brassica oleracea, beets, or rutabaga.


Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Nicollas

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Re: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« Reply #4 on: 2020-06-08, 12:32:06 AM »
What about allowing to select koppen zone in profile and it shows up in the user profile at each of his/her post ?

S.Simonsen

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Re: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« Reply #5 on: 2020-06-08, 01:58:47 AM »
That actually could be a really good low energy way to help people compare climate zones with other forum members across the whole platform in an unobtrusive way. Ill ask the admins if they think that might work.

Ferdzy

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Re: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« Reply #6 on: 2020-06-08, 08:29:04 AM »
I don't know much about the Koppen classification system. But, after about 5 minutes of looking at maps on-line, I am already quite frustrated by it. The ones I've seen all seem to agree: The north coast of Lake Erie is in the same zone as Moosonee. Which I'm afraid immediately causes me to assume that it's a completely useless classification, because no, just no. They cannot grow the same things in Moosonee as I am growing here, in a zone where I am not able to grow things they can grow in Leamington, (theoretically in the same zone). Hell, I can't grow things in the wet field by the creek that I can grow on the south side of my dark-sided garage.

So speaking for myself, it seems pretty clear I would not find this particularly informative.

reed

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Re: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« Reply #7 on: 2020-06-08, 09:01:05 AM »
I also don't know much about it, actually never heard of it before but after researching I have to agree with Ferdzy. Can't see much value to it for me.

whwoz

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Re: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« Reply #8 on: 2020-06-09, 02:28:49 AM »
Likewise, I agree with Reed and Frenzy, for while I do not know a lot about the Koppen system,  just seeing the difference in soil types between here and the other side of Trafalgar,  less than 5 miles distant with no climate change and yet a lot of what I have to grow in raised beds here would be easily grown in the native soil there.

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« Reply #9 on: 2020-06-09, 10:08:20 AM »
Too many micro-climates here. Having mountains around affects rainfall, winds, soils, temperatures ......

 Maybe it would work in a large flat area like the Canadian Prairies.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

Kim K.

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Re: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« Reply #10 on: 2020-06-10, 01:42:02 PM »
I understand Joseph's interest...

...this looks at one of the basic mysteries of gardening and farming: why is it so easy to grow certain crops at your place, and so maddeningly difficult to grow others?

I can grow some things (turnips, beets+seed, apples, tomatoes, moschata squash, melons) nearly effortlessly, while other crops are constantly struggling disappointments. Sometimes it's obviously a climate issue. Other times soil seems very important. Other times it seems more subtle factors are at play (or at least factors I do not yet perceive and account for.)

Judging from other people's comments, the Koppen climate zones are too broad to be useful.
Gardening in rocky, slightly acidic sandy loam on the southern New England coast. Zone 7a, with wicked freeze/thaw cycles all winter. 44" of precipitation spread evenly throughout the year.

S.Simonsen

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Re: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« Reply #11 on: 2020-06-10, 03:33:45 PM »
I think you might be right as well. Everyone has to do their own trials in their own unique growing space. Climate is just one part of an irreducibly complex issue.

Steph S

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Re: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« Reply #12 on: 2020-06-15, 12:47:42 PM »
I feel that there's a really good idea behind this, but the Koppen classification falls short.
I do think there's merit in exchanging genetic material with people whose climate is similar in some way.  It's probably not going to be similar in all ways,  but if you have an issue in mind that you're trying to address, sourcing crops or varieties that are adapted to at least some of the same conditions is the obvious place to start. 
That's how I see it from the POV of a fairly extreme and difficult place to grow crops, anyway.

Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« Reply #13 on: 2021-01-14, 01:12:57 PM »
I added fields to the user profile for Koppen Classification. The field is searchable on the member list at:
http://opensourceplantbreeding.org/forum/index.php?action=mlist;sa=search

I added my zone which is  BWk. I grabbed it off the map at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6ppen_climate_classification#/media/File:K%C3%B6ppen-Geiger_Climate_Classification_Map.png

I also added a profile field for Plant Hardiness Zone. If using it, please include the system that you are using as well as a number, for example, for my garden "USDA 5".

If you fill out either of the profile fields, then they will show up under your avatar on each post.

I added search functions to the other profile fields (accessed from the member-list link given above), so that you could get a list for example of everyone that said that they are interested in growing garlic, or that grows in sandy soil.
« Last Edit: 2021-01-14, 01:21:33 PM by Joseph Lofthouse »
List of places that carry my seeds is at: http://garden.lofthouse.com/seed-list.phtml

S.Simonsen

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Re: Koppen zones - gauging interest plus goals/structure
« Reply #14 on: 2021-01-14, 05:28:39 PM »
Brilliant to see these new features! Thanks for making the effort to add these options. I hope enough people add the information to make the feature useful.