What you want to grow determines which place in America is the best for gardeners. For example, citrus fruits grow abundantly in Florida and Arizona while California grows the majority of the country's commercial produce. The Midwest is known for vegetables, grains and cattle. Other than perhaps Death Valley, the tops of the Rocky Mountains or the swamps in the South, there really isn't a bad place to garden in America.
Alaska, with its nearly 24-hour-long days filled with sunshine in the summer, grows the largest cool season vegetables. It holds the world record for the world's largest cabbage, which weighed in at over 125 lbs. with leaves over 5 feet across, according to the Anchorage Daily News. The state also holds the record for the world's largest rutabaga at over 82 lbs, and the world's heaviest carrot at 18 lbs. If you want to grow giant vegetables, it seems that Alaska is the best place to garden.
If you want to grow apples, pears, peaches, grapes and oranges, then California is the state where you should be. It's tops in production of those five fruits, according to the Consumers Union. New York is second for apples and grapes, Oregon for pears, Georgia for peaches and Florida for oranges.
According to USDA Economic Research Service, the top five states in vegetable production are California, Idaho, Washington, Wisconsin, and Florida. Idaho and Wisconsin lead in potato production while California produces 60 percent of the nation's fresh and processed vegetables. If you plan on growing a vegetable garden, these five states would be the best locales.
If you like to putter in your garden year-round, the best places to garden in would be those states that don't experience cold winters. These include the Arizona desert, where even tomatoes have been known to continue ripening in December, Florida, California, parts of Texas and parts of the Deep South. These areas allow for two crops of cool-season vegetables. The first crop is generally planted in January with the second seeded in late August. Additionally, a warm-season vegetable crop can be grown from April through early winter.
If bananas, mangoes, pineapples, guavas or other tropical fruits are on your list of favorite plants, then Florida and Hawaii are the best locations for your garden as their climates are similar to those of the fruits' native areas. For example, Hawaii is famous for pineapples. While Arizona and south Texas experience warm enough temperatures, they don't receive nearly enough rainfall to support the healthy growth of tropical plants. For best results, you'll have to supplement what little rain there is with lots of watering.
Katie Jensen's first book was published in 2000. Since then she has written additional books as well as screenplays, website content and e-books. Rosehill holds a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University. Her articles specialize in business and personal finance. Her passion includes cooking, eating and writing about food.