What is Planting Zone?
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map depicts planting zones and growing zones on a map. Planting zones 1A through 13B were separated out by the US Department of Agriculture. Minimum temperatures range from -60°F to 70°F in these regions.
The gardening and agricultural industry was the inspiration for this system. Companies used it to show which facilities would function best in various locations, based on climate. Professional landscapers and farmers will find this useful information.
It did, however, make it much simpler for everyone to determine which plants suit their garden by translating it over to backyard gardeners.
The USDA map will be used to pair plants with similar environments from around the world. You may determine which plants will thrive best in your region by determining what zone you’re in.
Furthermore, whichperennials will be classified as true perennials and must be maintained as annuals. Knowing which planting zone you’re in can have a significant impact on your gardening achievement.
What a Planting Zone is NOT
People often assume that the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map will be split out by area based on the information on it. Certain states are frequently perceived to have similar climate conditions.
That isn’t how it works. We’ll share more with you in the next section how the USDA Plant
The Hardiness Zone Map has been established. For the time being, realize that you can’t simply choose which plant to place in your region based on where you live.
Since it is measured by the environment, which might vary depending on where you are in relation to each other, using planting zones is more accurate.
How to Find Your Planting Zone
Our interactive map, which is based on USDA Plant Hardiness Map data from 2012, can help you determine where to plant. The map may be used in three ways, so choose whichever one you want:
- In the search bar, type in your ZIP code and press Enter.
- Press the button that says “Use My Location.” The map will display your planting zone if you allow the tool to utilize GPS to determine your location.
- Drag and zoom the map with your mouse or touchscreen, and when you find your location, click or tap it.
How Does the Map Work?
Data from news stations across the United States was used to create the USDA Hardiness Zone Map.
The process begins with calculating the average minimum annual temperature per region after the data is in. Several USDA zones have been developed based on these averages.
The coldest zone in the United States is 1A, which has a minimum winter temperature of -60 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest zone is 13B, with a minimum temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
The plant must be able to survive in a climate with such low temperatures when choosing what to plant in each zone.
For example, to be a perennial, the plant must be able to withstand a minimum temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit in zone 9A.
Otherwise, it must be planted as an yearly. If that’s the case, check your frost dates and choose a date in your zone when it would be appropriate to plant.
Why Planting Zones Matter
Planting zones are important to anyone who has ever tried to grow plants from seeds or who has paid money to buy seedlings and plant them.
It takes both time and money to plant a garden. You’ve squandered time, money, and effort if you plant something at the wrong time for your zone.
You can now estimate how much of a period you have for growing the plant once you understand your zone.
For example, a three-month growing season is typical in parts of Alaska. In zones seven through ten, people may nearly always create a range of plants.
Use a planting schedule based on your location if you’re unsure how to determine which plant grows where and when.
This will reveal when to start seeds indoors, when to plant them outdoors, and whether they may be grown a second time in your region.
“Hardy up to zone ___” or “Will grow in _____ zone and below throughout the _______ season,” says the packaging at nurseries.
The planting zones are where a successful garden begins.
Other Factors Which Will Impact Your Garden
Your garden needs planting zones, but they aren’t the be-all and end-all. There are many more aspects to becoming a gardener.
1. Soil Quality
It is critical to use high-quality soil when planting. You should ensure that the soil pH in your garden is suitable for the plants you want to grow.
In addition, to aid in the formation of fluffy, well-drained soil, amend it with compost and other organic matter.
Water is required for everything. It will perish if it isn’t supplied with it. Okay, so now that you’ve got the basics down, let’s talk about it. So, in order to properly water your garden, there are a few more things to consider.
Give your plants one inch of water per week, according to the rule of thumb. Instead of four or five shallow watering sessions throughout the week, make sure to apply water in one or two deep watering sessions per week.
Everything requires sunlight, just like water. Make sure your garden location has well-draining soil and is in the sunlight.
It’s a good idea to locate your garden in a spot that gets at least six hours of sunlight each day. Consider container gardening if you can’t get enough sunlight on your property; you may relocate your garden to get the amount of light you need.
4. Regional Factors
In your area, zone boundaries might fluctuate. In certain states, two or more zones may be found.
They all have to deal with particular weather conditions prevalent to their region, which results in various temperatures and planting times.
From the east coast of the United States to the west coast, zone eight extends. On the east coast, one person in zone 8 may have to cope with something that someone in zone 8 on the west coast may not.
The temperature in some parts of zone 8 is substantially higher than in others. Hurricanes and tornadoes are a problem in certain areas, but not in others.
Microclimates in some tiny sections of the zone might cause the zone’s overall climate to be different from that of its surroundings. Buildings in urbanized environments absorb sunlight and release heat to the atmosphere, resulting in a temperature higher than the zone average.
You could prepare in advance by constructing a hugelkultur garden if you reside in an place where you know you’ll face scorching temperatures or lack of water at some stage during the growing season. Being able to anticipate typical weather hazards in your area can help you better garden.
To give your garden the best chance of success, all of these variables should be considered and planned for.
What’s the Next Step?
The next step is to understand what to do with the information you just acquired about your planting zone.
1. Don’t Grow Certain Plants
There is a zone requirement for each plant. Zones four to eight are the only places where corn can be grown. As a result, you should not grow corns if you live outside of these zones.
Zone requirements are usually included on seed packets. In most cases, regional seed retailers will not sell seeds that cannot grow in the region.
It can be tough to discover if you can’t cultivate the veggies you want, but most of the time it isn’t worth the trouble to plant something outside of your growing zone. Unless you reside near a zone boundary, and are prepared to mulch heavily and take the risk of severe winter temperatures, you may be able to grow plants outside your zone with high cold hardiness.
2. Plant Annuals as Perennials
Annuals, on the other hand, may be perennialized if you live in warm zones.
If you live in zones 7 and above, kale is a vegetable that may be grown as a perennial. If you want to eat kale all year, this is fantastic.
When you choose to plant perennials, make sure that you’re aware of which annuals may be planted as perennials in your zone.
3. Practice Alternative Growing Methods
Greenhouses are a terrific way to start seeds earlier and develop crops later in colder regions.
You may utilize a greenhouse to cultivate vegetables throughout the winter in any climate, even if it is not particularly chilly.
Since you build the garden and soil each year, you may also practice straw bale gardening to prepare for planting earlier.
4. Know Your Frost Dates
You may see what plants you may cultivate using the USDA map. When to grow it is another piece of information you should know. Doesn’t mean you can grow it all year just because a plant can be planted in your zone.
To determine the average first and last frost dates in your area, use the frost dates finder.
5. Gardening Tips for Your Zone
If the guide is zone-specific, you may have learned gardening online or through books.
Most gardening instructional authors are unaware that their advice can only be applied in certain zones. In that instance, they can’t tell you whether the guide is zone-specific, so you’ll have to do some research to find out.