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I keep coming across questions where I'm not sure if the season being discussed is winter or summer, or autumn or spring, because the questioner (or answerer if it's in an answer) has assumed that gardening only occurs in the northern (or sometimes southern) hemisphere of our planet.

Can we make it a standard guideline that titles in particular, but all content to some extent should try to make it unambiguous as to what season is in question? Either by the use of globally-applicable season names (e.g. "winter", "summer") or by including a hemisphere qualifier (e.g. "May here in Oregon", "September in the south hemisphere").

For questions that pertain to the tropics, this is less important, but the questioner should make the tropical context of the question clear up front regardless.

Above all, I'm not trying to make a rigid rule, but a soft justification for editing titles to be unambigious in search results.

Examples

  1. Should I cull June-bearing strawberries for fall bearing? is pretty obvious, since not much fruits in winter, but still... As an aside I think I got myself tangled trying to answer this question because I kept having to remember to reverse the seasons!
  2. Can I thin grapes/vines in July? is ambiguous in a search unless you know a bit about grapes and what thinning means with respect to the fruiting season.
  3. Is July too late to replant tomatoes in North Georgia, USA? is an example that's fine because the global context of USA has been included.
  4. Is September too late to plant winter greens in USDA zone 6? is fine since Baka accidentally provided the context by stating that the target veges were winter greens and a USDA climate zone hints at a US target location.
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    Wha? This planet has a bottom half? With gardens!? I totally thought you fell off the edge... – bstpierre Dec 12 '11 at 22:39
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    FWIW, I think any edit that clarifies the question or answer (including disambiguating the season) is a good thing. – bstpierre Dec 12 '11 at 22:42
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    In general, I feel that as long as either the question title or the body makes the context clear, it's fine. In the grapes question, the very first sentence mentions "Austria (central Europe)" as the location. But you're right, some titles are very weak and need some love. However, as bstpierre said, all that it requires is an edit to add the info in and anything that reduces ambiguities is good. So although it would be nice if people wrote it that way to begin with, users should edit without fear (but sensibly!). After all, the content here is CC licensed and belongs to the community :) – Lorem Ipsum Dec 13 '11 at 2:04

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