Gardening Zones 101

gardening zones mapGardening Zones, What Are They?

Today’s 101 article is all about gardening zones.  For those who have ever tried their hand at gardening, you have probably seen a map of gardening zones.  For the uninitiated, sometimes gardening zones can be a confusing topic.  In short, gardening zones are a set of maps which gardeners can determine which plants are best suited for their location. The zones take into consideration the average coldest temperature in the winter.

The scale for the gardening zones ranges from 1a to 13b. A zone of 1a is among some of the coolest places in America during winter. With 13b being the warmest. As you can see on the map, not all zones are in the continental US. Hawaii, Alaska, and Peurto Rico are the areas that are in these extreme zones. Most of the US resides between 2b – 10a.

By knowing these zones, and which you are in, you can learn what plants to utilize in your gardens and when you can start planting. Bear in mind these zones are guidelines, and it may be possible to grow plants that are not suited for your zone if proper care is taken. The zones are not perfect and may not be accurate if you live in an area that is abnormal for your zone. Also, the zones will not factor in soil conditions, moisture, humidity, heat, window, or sunlight. 

In Closing

Knowing your zone is a must for any serious gardener.  Luckily, there are many resources out there to help you determine which zone you live in.  You can click on the map image above to find your zone. Or you can visit the USDA website to look up your gardening zone by zip code as well.  

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out our other gardening articles!



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