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Climate Zones

The Mid Klamath region encompasses a wide array of elevations, soils and topography that have given rise to one of the most diverse flora and fauna of any temperate zone on earth.  This same complexity yields a range of opportunities and challenges for farming and gardening.  It is possible to grow fresh produce year round on low elevation valley floors and river bars, while higher elevations and north facing drainages are some of the coldest climate zones in the West.  Banana belts offer microclimates that escape frosts, extending the growing season by many weeks on some sites. 

Identifying your climate zone and microclimates will help clarify the challenges and opportunities of gardening in your area and provide a way to adapt information to your specific site.  Most of the charts and calendars listed on this website are based on Sunset climate zone 14, which includes the lower elevations of Orleans, Hoopa Valley and Willow Creek.  If you live in a cooler climate zone, such as Happy Camp or Seiad Valley (Sunset zone 7), you will need to adjust the information accordingly.   Most gardeners are familiar with the USDA climate zones that reference a plants hardiness (or tolerance to cold).  The climate zones developed by Sunset Gardening are much more detailed and are a better resource for our area.  However, since most plant tags reference the USDA zones, we have included it as an additional reference.  

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Thanks to the USDA for support for these Foodshed webpages,  specifically the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Grant # 2011-49400-30497 and the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture-Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Food Security Grant # 2012-68004-20018.