Q: We live in southern Florida and are building a house in Fannin county. Once the house is built, how do we learn to garden in this new area?
A: What a marvelous gardening opportunity you have! You won’t have quite as long to work outdoors in Fannin county as you did in Florida but you’ll have plenty of time to experiment with new plants. There are two things to know: number one, you’ll be living in USDA Hardiness Zone 7, not Zones 8/9. That means you need to forget growing hibiscus and citrus outdoors year-round.
Secondly, the soil in Fannin county is predominantly an acid clay. That means you’ll need to have your soil tested to determine the amount of lime you need and you’ll have to mix in copious amount of organic matter before planting. You new best friends should be the Fannin County Master Gardeners Association and the local Extension office (1-800-ASKUGA-1). They have lots of publications that can help you get started in your gardening adventure.