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Edgewood Park and SF Bay, photo by Cathrin Callas
Edgewood Park and SF Bay, photo by Cathrin Callas
We enjoy an unusual climate in San Mateo and San Francisco Counties. Dry summers, mild winters, and the influence of bay and ocean make it possible to grow an amazing variety of plants.

This climate also has its challenges. Mild winters may not provide enough "chill" time for some fruits to produce their best.  Dry summers -- and continued drought -- mean that plants requiring year-round water may not be good choices or at least should be used sparingly.

Within the overall climate there are many regions with distinctive weather patterns, known as "microclimates". These areas get more or less fog and overcast during the summer, and may be warmer or cooler overall than even nearby regions. Understanding your microclimate can help you select plants that will do the best in your garden with the least effort.

Know Your Microclimate

Microclimates in the San Francisco Bay Area range from cool coastal fog belts to hot inland sun belts. Fortunately, we can pinpoint conditions like climate zones (Sunset Western Garden Book), plant hardiness zones (U.S Department of Agriculture), heat zones (American Horticultural Society), rainfall and drought conditions (National Weather Service and California Department of Water Resources) and more.

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