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kawaiineko_gardener

interested in gardening in california....need help with zones!

First off, no I currently don't live in California; I live in northern MI.

I heard California uses sunset gardening zones, which I don't understand at all. Which sunset zone is the equivalent of 8a/8b? that's the zone area I'm looking for.

However I am interested in relocating to California in the future.

I am basically looking for an area in California that has warm summers and mild winters that has a long growing season.

I'd like the area to be the equivalent of 8a/8b, and also to be able to grow some subtropical things (guava, banana, oranges) but also to be in an area where other fruit trees that prefer cooler climates would grow well too (apples, pears, peaches, apricots, plums, etc.)

I don't want the climate to be like the deep south (Alabama, Georgia etc.) where the summers are brutal, and it's too hot to grow anything in the summer. I'd like the area to be warm enough where you can grow stuff in the winter, and where you don't have to worry about snow/frosts.

Can anybody please recommend some areas in California (cities and counties).

I don't want to do southern California it would be too hot.

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