I think people generally assume that since we live in an area that has such cold winters, that our growing options are limited. Maybe to some extent it‘s true, but there are plenty of things we can grow that will keep providing for us every year.
Plant Hardiness Zones are in place so gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The USDA Hardiness Zone Map divides North America into 11 separate zones; each zone is 10°F warmer (or colder) in an average winter than the adjacent zone. We happen to live in zone 5. I’ve listed some ideal growers for our zone below.
Apple- In most cases, two different apple cultivars are needed to ensure adequate pollination. Alternatively, a crabapple tree may be used to pollinate an apple tree.
Peach- Peaches in zone 5? You betcha! Try ‘Reliance’ It has excellent tree and bud hardiness.
Cherry- Provides attractive flowers in spring and delicious fruit in early summer.
Pear- Pear trees and their fruit are less susceptible to insects and disease than many other fruit trees.
Pawpaw- High quality pawpaws compare favorably to pears, peaches, bananas, and mangos.
Plum- Plums do tend to put up shoots or “suckers”.
Persimmons- Great baked in cookies and they go well with walnuts or pecans.
Apricot- Apricot flowers are also beautiful and will give a touch of pink and white to your garden.
Walnut- Walnut trees begin producing nuts when they are about 10 years old.
Chestnut- If you start your chestnuts as grafted saplings, you may get nuts the second year after you plant.
Hardy fig- Look for self-pollinating cultivars.
Blueberry- I just planted mine yesterday! Blueberries like acidic soil. Add coffee grounds and pine needles.
Mulberry-It’s actually a tree. One of the fastest growing trees known in the U.S.
Blackberry- Trellising is beneficial for cane support.
Cranberry- The American cranberry bush will do well in loamy, fertile soil.
Currants- Fruit make excellent jams, jellies, preserves, and pies.
Raspberries- Everbearing raspberries, treated well, are just that—ever bearing.
Honeyberry- Plant two varieties. They taste similar to blueberries.
Aronia berry- The berries have one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any food on the planet.
Kiwi- They will require the support of a trellis or fence.
Grapes- Prune only in late winter or early spring, train on a fence or trellis.
Asparagus- It will be productive for 15 or more years if given proper care.
Strawberries- Plant two or more varieties for a continuous supply.
Green onions- Allow offshoots to develop for dividing the following year.