I am almost done creating an app that allows people to create a planting calendar based on garden journals created by people who live within a certain radius of a user. In those garden journals people record how many days it took to reach maturity/harvest among many other things. The whole idea behind this planting calendar app is that people who live near each other share the same average monthly temperature and rainfall with each other. Not only that but they will often also share the same soil type and soil pH. In other words, if person A finished a garden journal about tomato variety X and then determined that planting the variety on date X takes 80 days, then person B living say 10 miles (16 km) away will likely harvest after a similar amount of days, giving that person sows/plants the tomato around the same date as person A did.

Now I know that growing season A can be a little bit hotter/colder than the current growing season where person B plans to start growing tomato X, it might even be a little bit dryer or rainier than it was during season A. But overall person B will still see a similar result after about 80 days.

My question is: At what distance will the (micro) climate be so different from the climate of person A that the results of the garden journal of person A will no longer be useful for person B?

I've looked at the average temperatures of two inland points in the Netherlands and I have determined that if those points are about 50 km apart from each other they hardly differ. But if I compare a location near the sea with a location 50 km inland they do differ by a few degrees. This difference becomes significant after a distance of 20 km inland.

This is only the Netherlands, perhaps there are places in the world where larger swathes of land share the same average monthly temperatures.

I am trying to determine what the maximum radius should be that I should offer to my web application users. Right now the maximum is set to 500 km or 500 miles. But I think this may be too much and not useful to anyone. However I could be mistaken. Perhaps in the center of Russia this is a large area that shares a similar climate with similar monthly temperatures.

I would like to hear your opinion about what the maximum should be.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm entering a different climate zone 2km in east/west and ~5km in north/south direction (volcanic island). The Netherlands have a uniform climate and are extremely well developed agriculturally. Imagine the midranges of the neighbours, where conditions change just 5km apart as. I think it totally depends, a distance dependent metric is probably too simple. $\endgroup$
    – user18607
    Jan 31 '20 at 22:38
  • $\begingroup$ how can a climate change after a mere 2km distance? My lowest radius is 5km. The reason for this is privacy concerns for my users. Can you give me an example? what volcanic island are you talking about? $\endgroup$
    – Maurice
    Feb 1 '20 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ ok i can imagine that person A living on top of a mountain will have little use of any garden journal made by person B at the base of the mountain. But i think the majority of people do not live in steep valley's or high mountains, they live in urban areas on flat terrain. Your comment made me think though, perhaps i should lower the lowerbound to 2 km instead of 5. Thank you $\endgroup$
    – Maurice
    Feb 1 '20 at 0:08
  • $\begingroup$ Well, the islands grows from sea level to 1500 to >3000m and have a windward and a leeward side. But that is very special. Anyway, imagine midrange mountains in Europe: wine on the southern slope, crop in the flat hilltops, forest on the northern slopes, meadows for cattle in the valleys. Loess in lowlands allow for many things to grow, while just a few hundred meters to the side ground has eroded down to the "rotliegend" (bad). $\endgroup$
    – user18607
    Feb 1 '20 at 0:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Maurice you unlikely to get a sciency answer because growing things is more complicated than just watching the climate. Maybe the gardening guys can help you better ? gardening.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$
    – user18607
    Feb 1 '20 at 16:33

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