Q: I recently printed out the planting schedule you noted in your Sept. 6column in the Tribune, but it's for Maricopa County. Members of my family recently moved to Sedona and want to do some planting. Can you give me a Web site for their area?
A: I could just give you that information. However, I thought it would be helpful if you know how I obtained it.
I needed to know what the elevation of Sedona is, so I typed in "Sedona, AZ" on Google and the first site listed it at 4,500 feet. I wasn't sure which county Sedona was in, so I did a Google search for "county of Sedona, AZ" and discovered it was in Yavapai County - same as Prescott.
The next Google search was for "United States cooperative extensions," and here is where I struck gold, so mark this address in your favorites: www.csrees.usda.gov/qlinks/partners/state_partners.html.The state link will then give you the counties to choose from, and you can obtain much information from those county cooperative extensions in every state. In your case I was looking for Yavapai County and then horticulture information. One of my choices was "Arizona Master Gardener Manual": http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg. I clicked on "Contents," scrolled down to "Vegetable Gardening" and clicked on "Vegetable Planting Dates." Now you have six elevations to choose from. Sedona, at 4,500 feet, is in zone 4 or 5.
The University of Arizona Web site has a lot of links hooked to it: http://cals.arizona.edu/maricopa/garden/html/general/links.htm.
If I have questions about growing avocados, that is exactly what I type in the search window. This Web site, http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/homefruit/avocado/avocado2.html, was the fourth choice on the first page among 1,680,000 sites on "growing avocados."
Let's try, "can I grow rhubarb in Phoenix?"
The answer: In Arizona, plant rhubarb at 2,000 to 3,000 feet. Also, rhubarb is not adapted to our lower desert elevations.
Yahoo and Microsoft Live Search are also very good. Many times you can receive much more detailed answers from an Internet search than I can give in this column.